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Hibernia REIT issues trading update

By James Buckley - Thursday, February 08, 2018 9:01

Hibernia REIT has issued a trading update for the period 1 October 2017 to date, in which is reported good progress on lettings, reducing its portfolio vacancy rate to 7%, which will fall to 2% if all space currently under offer completes.

Three assets were sold over the period for €35.8m and 77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay was bought for €28.7m

Its development at 1 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and 2 Windmill Lane are on schedule for 2018 completions, with discussions ongoing with potential occupiers.

Letting activity in the Dublin office market in 2017 reached a new high with take-up of over 3.5m sq ft, following 1.6m sq ft of take-up in the final quarter as a number of large letting transactions were agreed. Office vacancy at the end of December 2017 stood at 3% for grade A space in Dublin 2/4 and 6% for Dublin overall, with a further 1.2m sq ft of space reserved across the city. Prime Grade A headline rents in the city centre rose to €65 per sq ft in the quarter.

At 31 December 2017 Hibernia had net debt of €182m and cash and undrawn facilities of €263m (following disposal of the Chancery). Net of committed development spend, the acquisitions and disposals described in this trading update, payment of the interim dividend and the planned repayment of the 1WML loan facility (which occurred on 5 February 2018), cash and undrawn facilities totalled over €140m.

Kevin Nowlan, Chief Executive Officer of Hibernia, said: “The quarter ended December 2017 saw a record level of take-up in the Dublin office market, resulting in 2017 exceeding the previous record year for leasing activity, and we have made good progress letting the available space in our portfolio: vacancy across our in-place offices now stands at 7% and will fall to 2% if we convert all space currently under offer.  We have also sold the Chancery and our two properties on Lime Street and successfully recycled most of the proceeds into 77 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, where we expect greater future returns.      

“Our two committed developments remain on track for completion in the second half of 2018 and we are working hard on progressing our exciting pipeline of future developments.  With a favourable letting market, a strong balance sheet to exploit opportunities and an experienced team, we are optimistic for the future.”

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