Unibail-Rodamco Profit Beats Target as German Mall Lifts Income

Unibail-Rodamco SE, Europe’s largest publicly traded property owner, reported annual recurring profit per share that beat its target and said Christophe Cuvillier will replace Guillaume Poitrinal as chief executive officer.

Earnings excluding changes in asset values and proceeds from disposals, or recurring profit, increased 6.7 percent to 9.60 euros a share, the Paris-based company said in a statement after the close of trading yesterday. Unibail-Rodamco had forecast a 4 percent increase. The average estimate of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for 9.50 euros a share.

Cuvillier, currently chief operating officer, will become CEO on April 25, the real estate investment trust said. Unibail-Rodamco has focused on large malls to attract companies entering European markets for the first time, Morgan Stanley said in a Dec. 5 note to investors. In June it agreed to buy most of the company that controls Mfi Management fuer Immobilien AG, Germany’s second-biggest shopping-mall operator.

Net rental income rose 4.2 percent on a like-for-like basis last year, Unibail-Rodamco said. The company plans to raise its dividend to 8.40 euros a share from 8 euros.

Unibail-Rodamco set a target of increasing recurring EPS by at least 5 percent this year, according to today’s statement. Earnings are expected to reach 14 euros a share by 2017, the REIT said. Large malls make up 89 percent of the gross market value of Unibail-Rodamco’s properties in Europe.

Poitrinal, 45, has been Unibail-Rodamco’s CEO for eight years.

The company has risen about 20 percent in Paris trading in the last 12 months, lifting its market value to 16.6 billion euros ($23 billion). That compares with a 14 percent gain in the benchmark CAC-40 index.

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