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Old success and new business for Echo

Aneta Cichla 12 June 2018

Aneta Cichla

Deputy editor in chief, journalist

+48 22 356 25 15
aneta.cichla@eurobuildcee.com

Aneta is passionate about the retail real estate market and everything associated with it. She has worked in the editorial department of ‘Eurobuild CEE’ for seven years. Prior to this she was employed as a journalist for the Retailnet.pl portal and for Shopping Center Poland magazine. In her free time she enjoys reading books, walking the dog and working out at the gym. She also loves watching martial arts fights.

POLAND In Q1 Echo Investment was able to obtain more financing for projects in the office and residential sector. The company also launched a new institutional rental platform: Resi4Rent.
In the first quarter, the developer enjoyed a 35 pct increase in apartment sales. It generated revenue of PLN 64 mln, PLN 15 mln of gross profit from sales and PLN 51 mln of net profit. The main factors influencing these results were the increase in the value of its commercial real estate under construction and the transfer of 70 apartments to buyers. Its net banking debt to asset value ratio came to 29 pct.

Resi4Rent, meanwhile, which Echo has launched in cooperation with its financial partners, is intended to be the first and largest institutional entity that offers apartments for rent in Poland. Echo will be responsible for the planning, design and development of these projects.

“Entering this segment provides us with the opportunity to significantly increase the scale of our operations in the residential sector. Resi4Rent will enrich our flagship and city-forming multifunctional projects, such as Browary Warszawskie,” declared Nicklas Lindberg, the CEO of Echo Investment.

The Resi4Rent platform has over 1,200 apartments under construction and the construction of another 1,700 will start within a year. The majority of these are under construction or in the pipeline in Warsaw (four projects with 1,308 apartments), Wrocław (573 apartments in two projects), Kraków (two projects and 388 apartments) and Gdańsk (one project with 294 apartments) as well as in Łódź (211) and Poznań (143). Within 3–5 years the portfolio of the platform should include between 5,000 and 7,000 apartments for rent. Financing for the project is to be provided by a consortium of two financial institutions led by Bank Pekao SA, and the documents confirming this are to be signed in the next few weeks.

Echo Investment also used the beginning of the year to secure the financing of its current and new projects. Another bond issue programme for individual investors was launched. The first, PLN 50 mln, tranche of the programme has been placed. At the same time, institutional investors bought bonds worth PLN 140 mln.

“The funds raised will be used to implement our ambitious business plans,” emphasises Maciej Drozd, the vice-president of Echo Investment for financial affairs.

The sale of the company’s apartments increased in Q1 2018 by 35 pct to 348 units. This year the developer is planning to sell 1,300–1,400 apartments while maintaining its high margins. Around 1,400 apartments in nine projects are to be put on sale over the entire year.

Echo’s shopping centres department has already leased 95 pct of Libero in Katowice and 75 pct of Galeria Młociny in Warsaw. The first mall will be opening in Q3 and the other in H1 next year.

The developer’s greatest achievement in the office sector was the leasing of 100 pct of the first office building its the Browary Warszawskie complex, which should be completed by the end of the year. In addition to this, Echo closed the sale of the West Link office building in Wrocław just after the project’s completion, while the construction of the Face2Face complex began in Katowice. By the end of the year the company will start the construction of five more office buildings – in Warsaw, Gdańsk and Łódź.

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