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Press release from CNW Group

Crombie REIT reports fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 results

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Crombie REIT reports fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 results07:47 EST Thursday, February 28, 2013STELLARTON, NS, Feb. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust ("Crombie") (TSX: CRR.UN) is pleased to report its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.2012 HighlightsFunds from operations ("FFO") for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 was $0.31 per unit (payout ratio 72.4%) compared to $0.27 per unit (payout ratio 83.9%) for the same period in 2011. Excluding the impact of non-recurring items (see Non-recurring items below), FFO for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 would have been $0.27 (payout ratio 82.7%).FFO for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $1.09 per unit (payout ratio 82.7%) compared to $1.09 per unit (payout ratio 82.3%) for the same period in 2011. Excluding the impact of non-recurring items, FFO for the year ended December 31, 2012 would have been $1.09 (payout ratio 83.1%).Adjusted funds from operations ("AFFO") for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 was $0.27 per unit (payout ratio 84.6%) compared to $0.23 per unit (payout ratio 100.3%) for the same period in 2011. Excluding the impact of non-recurring items, AFFO for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 would have been $0.23 (payout ratio 99.1%).AFFO for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $0.92 per unit (payout ratio 98.0%) compared to $0.88 per unit (payout ratio 102.1%) for the same period in 2011. Excluding the impact of non-recurring items, AFFO for the year ended December 31, 2012 would have been $0.91 (payout ratio 99.5%).Crombie completed the acquisition of two properties and also acquired additional development on two properties in the quarter ended December 31, 2012 totaling $53.1 million, excluding closing and transaction costs; 32 properties totaling $394.0 million have been acquired year to date which increases 2012 year end gross book value to $2.4 billion.Property revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 of $68.5 million; an increase of $9.8 million or 16.7% over the $58.7 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 and for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $256.0 million; an increase of $29.9 million or 13.2% over the year ended December 31, 2011.Same-asset cash net operating income ("NOI") for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 of $32.8 million; an increase of $0.8 million or 2.4%, compared to $32.0 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 and for the year ended December 31, 2012, same-asset cash NOI of $132.0 million; an increase of $3.2 million or 2.5% over the same period in 2011.Occupancy on a committed basis was 93.2% at December 31, 2012 compared with 93.5% at September 30, 2012, and 94.7% at December 31, 2011.  Actual occupied space at December 31, 2012 was 92.6% compared with 92.2% at September 30, 2012, and 93.3% at December 31, 2011.Crombie completed leasing activity on 1,097,000 square feet of GLA during the year ended December 31, 2012, which represents approximately 106.4% of its 2012 expiring lease square footage.Crombie's 2012 leasing activity included lease renewals during the year on 465,000 square feet at an average rate of $13.49 per square foot; an increase of 5.3% over the expiring lease rate. Crombie's new leasing activity during the year was completed at an average rate of $11.88 per square foot.Commenting on the annual results, Donald E. Clow, FCA, President and Chief Executive Officer stated: "We are very pleased that 2012 was one of the strongest years in Crombie's history with over $400 million of property acquisitions and development, solid 2.5% same asset cash NOI performance and a significant refinancing of a pool of mortgages. Since 2008 we have invested over $1.1 billion in our focused strategy of building a portfolio of grocery and drugstore anchored shopping centers located primarily in the top 30 markets diversified across Canada such that our total assets at the end of 2012 exceeded $2.4 billion in gross book value and our market capitalization exceeded $1.3 billion. We have started 2013 on solid footing with the recently announced acquisition of four grocery or drugstore anchored shopping centers in Alberta for a purchase price of $132 million."FFO and AFFO Crombie's FFO and AFFO had the following results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012 and 2011:     Three months endedDec. 31, Variance(In millions of CAD dollars, except per unit amounts)2012 2011 $ %FFO$27.351 $19.708 $7.643 38.8%FFO Per Unit - Basic$0.31 $0.27 $0.04 14.8%FFO Per Unit - Diluted$0.30 $0.26 $0.04 15.4%FFO Payout ratio72.4% 83.9%   11.5%Excluding the impact of lease termination settlement:(1)        FFO Per Unit - Basic$0.27 $0.27 -- -- FFO Per Unit - Diluted$0.27 $0.26 $0.01 3.8% FFO Payout ratio82.7% 83.9%   1.2%AFFO$23.407 $16.486 $6.921 42.0%AFFO Per Unit - Basic$0.27 $0.23 $0.04 17.4%AFFO Per Unit - Diluted$0.26 $0.22 $0.04 18.2%AFFO Payout ratio84.6% 100.3%   15.7%Excluding the impact of lease termination settlement:(1)        AFFO Per Unit - Basic$0.23 $0.23 -- -- AFFO Per Unit - Diluted$0.22 $0.22 -- -- AFFO Payout ratio99.1% 100.3%   1.2%(1)As discussed under Non-recurring items, Crombie recognized lease termination income from a national retailer for early termination of two leases.The increase in FFO for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 was primarily due to the significant acquisition activity during 2011 and 2012.  In addition, Crombie reached agreement with a national retailer for early termination of two leases. These increases were offset in part by increased general and administrative expenses.AFFO for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 was $23.4 million, an increase of $6.9 million or 42.0% over the same period in 2011, due primarily to the improved FFO results as previously discussed.     Year endedDec. 31, Variance(In millions of CAD dollars, except per unit amounts)2012 2011 $ %FFO$90.737 $74.471 $16.266 21.8%FFO Per Unit - Basic$1.09 $1.09 -- --FFO Per Unit - Diluted$1.06 $1.04 $0.02 1.9%FFO Payout ratio82.7% 82.3%   (0.4)%Excluding the impact of Refinanced Mortgages and lease termination settlement :(1)        FFO Per Unit - Basic$1.09 $1.09 -- -- FFO Per Unit - Diluted$1.06 $1.04 $0.02 1.9% FFO Payout ratio83.1% 82.3%   (0.8)%AFFO$76.605 $60.051 $16.554 27.6%AFFO Per Unit - Basic$0.92 $0.88 $0.04 4.5%AFFO Per Unit - Diluted$0.90 $0.86 $0.04 4.7%AFFO Payout ratio98.0% 102.1%   4.1%Excluding the impact of Refinanced Mortgages and lease termination settlement:(1)        AFFO Per Unit - Basic$0.91 $0.88 $0.03 3.4% AFFO Per Unit - Diluted$0.89 $0.86 $0.03 3.5% AFFO Payout ratio99.5% 102.1%   2.6%(1)As discussed under Non-recurring items, Crombie refinanced mortgages during 2012, resulting in refinancing expenses. In addition, Crombie recognized lease termination income from a national retailer for early termination of two leases.The increase in FFO for the year ended December 31, 2012 was due primarily to significant acquisition activity which resulted in improved NOI results and, higher lease termination income. This was offset in part by increased general and administrative expenses and increased operating finance costs related to the acquisitions.AFFO for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $76.6 million, an increase of $16.6 million or 27.6% over the same period in 2011, due primarily to the improved FFO results and the unfavourable swap agreement settlement of $1.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2011.Property NOI - Cash Basis         (In millions of CAD dollars)Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2012Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2011Year endedDec. 31, 2012Year endedDec. 31, 2011Property NOI$43.116 $36.154 $163.300 $141.936Non-cash tenant incentive amortization1.533 1.333 6.332 5.169Non-cash straight-line rent(1.245) (1.004) (4.809) (3.619)Property cash NOI43.404 36.483 164.823 143.486Acquisition, disposition and redevelopment property cash NOI10.645 4.504 32.824 14.720Same-asset property cash NOI$32.759 $31.979 $131.999 $128.766Property NOI, on a cash basis, excludes straight-line rent recognition and amortization of tenant incentive amounts. The 2.5% increase in same-asset cash NOI for the year ended December 31, 2012 is primarily the result of increased average rent per square foot from leasing activity during the past 12 months, completed land use intensification development projects and improved recovery rates.Crombie believes that cash NOI is a better measure of AFFO sustainability and same-asset property performance.Acquisition, Disposition and Redevelopment Property NOI         (In millions of CAD dollars)Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2012 Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2011 Year endedDec. 31, 2012 Year endedDec. 31, 2011Property revenue$15.958 $7.561 $50.806 $25.788Property operating expenses5.217 3.127 17.997 11.673Property NOI$10.741 $4.434 $32.809 $14.115Property NOI margin %67.3% 58.6% 64.6% 54.7%For the quarter ended and year ended December 31, 2012, the acquisition, disposition and redevelopment property results have significantly increased over the same periods in 2011.  The growth is impacted by the significant acquisition activity during 2011 and 2012 as well as the increased focus on property redevelopment over that same period.General and Administrative ExpensesGeneral and administrative expenses for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 increased by 1.2% from 4.8% to 6.0% as a percentage of property revenue, when compared to the same period in 2011.  Salaries and benefits increased due to the hiring of additional staff related to continued national growth and higher 2012 incentive payments.  Other increases are primarily due to higher travel costs, training and development and increased public company costs.General and administrative expenses as a percentage of property revenue increased by 0.5% from 4.7% to 5.2% as a percentage of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011.  Salaries and benefits increased due to the hiring of additional staff related to continued national growth and higher 2012 incentive payments.  Other increases are primarily due to higher travel costs, training and development, increased public company costs and costs associated with due diligence on potential property acquisitions.Finance Costs - Operations          (In millions of CAD dollars)Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2012Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2011Year endedDec. 31, 2012Year endedDec. 31, 2011Same-asset finance costs$10.942 $11.536 $46.855 $49.787Acquisition, disposition and redevelopment finance costs4.136 1.710 13.130 5.013Amortization of effective swaps and deferred financing charges1.561 1.732 9.424 7.348Finance costs - operations$16.639 $14.978 $69.409 $62.148Same-asset finance costs for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 decreased 5.1% compared to the same period in 2011 primarily due to interest savings realized on the Refinanced Mortgages. Same-asset finance costs for the year ended December 31, 2012 decreased 5.9% compared to the same period in 2011 primarily due to the maturity of an interest rate swap in July 2011 on the revolving credit facility resulting in greater utilization of lower cost floating rate debt; interest savings from conversions of Convertible Debentures; and, interest savings in the quarter from the Refinanced Mortgages; offset in part by the approximately $1.5 million in cash costs incurred in the third quarter of 2012 related to the refinancing.Acquisition, disposition and redevelopment finance costs have increased over the comparative period in 2011 due to the significant acquisition and redevelopment activity over the last two years.Liquidity and FinancingsCrombie's objectives when managing its capital structure are to optimize weighted average cost of capital; maintain financial flexibility through access to long-term debt and equity markets; and maintain ample liquidity. In pursuit of these objectives, Crombie utilizes staggered debt maturities, optimizes its ongoing exposure to floating rate debt, pursues a range of fixed rate secured and unsecured debt and maintains sustainable payout ratios. Crombie has an authorized floating rate revolving credit facility of up to $200 million, subject to available borrowing base of which $30.4 million was drawn as at December 31, 2012, and an additional $11.3 million encumbered by outstanding letters of credit, resulting in significant available liquidity. On February 22, 2013, Crombie temporarily increased the maximum principal amount of its revolving credit facility from $200 million to $285 million in conjunction with property acquisitions on that date.Debt to gross book value is 50.0% (including convertible debentures) at December 31, 2012 compared to 52.5% at December 31, 2011.  This leverage ratio is below the maximum 60%, or 65% including convertible debentures, permitted pursuant to Crombie's Declaration of Trust. On a long-term basis, Crombie intends to maintain overall indebtedness, including convertible debentures, in the range of 50% to 60% of gross book value, depending upon Crombie's future acquisitions and financing opportunities.Crombie's interest and debt service coverage for the year ended December 31, 2012 were 2.61 times EBITDA and 1.76 times EBITDA respectively.  This compares to 2.49 times EBITDA and 1.79 times EBITDA respectively for the year ended December 31, 2011.The table below presents a summary of financial performance for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2012 compared to the same periods in fiscal 2011.        (In millions of CAD dollars, except per unit amounts)Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2012 Three monthsendedDec. 31, 2011(As restated) Year endedDec. 31, 2012 Year endedDec. 31, 2011(As restated)Property revenue$68.470 $58.682 $256.022 $226.138Property operating expenses25.354 22.528 92.722 84.202Property NOI43.116 36.154 163.300 141.936NOI margin percentage63.0% 61.6% 63.8% 62.8%Other items:        Lease terminations3.458 0.005 3.844 0.168 Depreciation and amortization(12.493) (8.302) (44.570) (31.387) General and administrative expenses(4.117) (2.806) (13.330) (10.654)Operating income before finance costs and taxes29.964 25.051 109.244 100.063Finance costs - operations(16.639) (14.978) (69.409) (62.148)Operating income before taxes13.325 10.073 39.835 37.915Taxes - deferred(1.500) 0.600 (0.100) 0.300Operating income attributable to Unitholders11.825 10.673 39.735 38.215Finance costs - distributions to Unitholders(19.809) (16.530) (75.079) (61.283)Finance costs - change in fair value of financial instruments3.984 (6.417) (1.878) (8.644)Decrease in net assets attributable to Unitholders$(4.000) $(12.274) $(37.222) $(31.712)        Operating income attributable to Unitholders per Unit, Basic and Diluted $0.13 $0.15 $0.48 $0.56Restatement of financial resultsDuring preparation of the fourth quarter of 2012 financial results, Crombie determined that the conversion feature and redemption option attached to the convertible debentures represent a financial liability requiring fair value measurement each reporting period, with any adjustment to fair value being recognized through decrease in net assets attributable to Unitholders. The fair value adjustment is being accounted for as Finance costs - change in fair value of financial instruments in the decrease in net assets attributable to Unitholders.This restatement is more fully explained in Crombie's Management Discussion & Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2012.Non-recurring items included in 2012 operating incomeDuring 2012, Crombie realized the following operating results which it considers non-recurring events:In September 2012, Crombie assigned a portfolio of mortgages on 23 investment properties (the "Refinanced Mortgages") to a new lender. Concurrent with the assignment of the mortgages to the new lender, Crombie renegotiated the terms of the debt, refinancing them with a 30 month floating rate term credit facility. Included in Finance costs - operations are expenses of approximately $3.0 million associated with this transaction (approximately $1.5 million in cash costs related to legal fees, term loan set up fees and a repayment fee paid to the mortgage lender are included in same-asset finance costs and approximately $1.5 million representing the unamortized balance of deferred financing and other costs previously paid in respect of the 2008 mortgage financing are included in Amortization of effective swaps and deferred financing charges). The mortgages, with a weighted average interest rate of 5.91% and terms to maturity from 2013 to 2017, totaled $92.4 million, while the floating rate term credit facility of $92.7 million had an interest rate of 3.08% at December 31, 2012. The floating rate is based on bankers' acceptance rates plus a spread or prime rates plus a spread.In December 2012, Crombie reached agreement with a national retailer on early termination of two leases resulting in lease termination income of $3.4 million.  The two leases will terminate April 30, 2013, with the retailer paying rent until that date.  Crombie's leasing and asset management staff are currently working on options for the space including replacement tenants and/or redevelopment opportunities for the properties.Definition of Non-IFRS MeasuresCertain financial measures included in this news release do not have standardized meaning under IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other publicly traded entities.  Crombie includes these measures because it believes certain investors use these measures as a means of assessing Crombie's financial performance.Property NOI is property revenue less property expenses.Property Cash NOI is Property NOI adjusted to remove non-cash straight-line rent and tenant incentive amortization.Debt is defined as bank loans plus commercial property debt and convertible debentures.Gross book value means, at any time, the book value of the assets of Crombie and its consolidated subsidiaries plus deferred financing charges, accumulated depreciation and amortization in respect of Crombie's properties (and related intangible assets) and cost of any below-market component of properties less (i) the amount of any receivable reflecting interest rate subsidies on any debt assumed by Crombie and (ii) the amount of deferred income tax liability arising out of the fair value adjustment in respect of the indirect acquisitions of certain properties.EBITDA is calculated as property revenue, adjusted to remove the impact of amortization of tenant incentives, less property expenses and general and administrative expenses.FFO is calculated as Increase (decrease) in net assets attributable to Unitholders (computed in accordance with IFRS), excluding gains (or losses) from sales of depreciable real estate and extraordinary items, plus depreciation and amortization expense, deferred income taxes, finance costs - distributions to Unitholders, finance costs - change in fair value of financial instruments and after adjustments for equity accounted entities and non-controlling interests.AFFO is defined as FFO adjusted for non-cash amounts affecting revenue, amortization of effective swap agreements, less maintenance capital expenditures, maintenance tenant incentives and deferred leasing costs, and the settlement of effective interest rate swap agreements.About Crombie Crombie is an open-ended real estate investment trust established under, and governed by, the laws of the Province of Ontario.  The trust invests in income-producing retail, office and mixed-use properties in Canada, with a future growth strategy focused primarily on the acquisition of grocery-anchored and drug store-anchored retail properties. Crombie currently owns a portfolio of 173 investment properties in nine provinces, comprising approximately 14.4 million square feet of rentable space.This news release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the current expectations of management of Crombie about Crombie's future results, performance, achievements, prospects and opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as "may", "will", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "intend" and similar expressions have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements reflect current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management of Crombie. Forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. A number of factors, including those discussed in the 2012 annual Management Discussion and Analysis under "Risk Management", could cause actual results, performance, achievements, prospects or opportunities to differ materially from the results discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These factors should be considered carefully and a reader should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that the expectations of management of Crombie will prove to be correct.In particular, certain statements in this document discuss Crombie's anticipated outlook of future events, including the realization of any benefits from refinancing the portfolio of mortgages, future development and acquisition of properties and other pending growth opportunities and expected pace of growth, all of which could be impacted by financing market conditions, the demand for properties and the effect that demand has on acquisition capitalization rates and changes in interest rates. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. Crombie can give no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements.Crombie's consolidated financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2012 can be found on Crombie's web site at www.crombiereit.com or on the SEDAR web site for Canadian regulatory filings at www.sedar.com.Conference Call InvitationCrombie will provide additional details concerning its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012 results on a conference call to be held Thursday, February 28, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. To join this conference call you may dial (647) 427-7450 or (888) 231-8191. You may also listen to a live audio web cast of the conference call by visiting Crombie's website located at www.crombiereit.com. Replay will be available until midnight March 14, 2013, by dialling (416) 849-0833 or (855) 859-2056 and entering pass code 92680245, or on the Crombie website for 90 days after the meeting.    SOURCE: Crombie REITFor further information: Glenn Hynes, FCA Chief Financial Officer and Secretary Crombie REIT (902) 755-8100