Hibernia Reit says rent collection remains strong

Completion of Cumberland Place development pushes vacancy rate to 9% from 7%

Hibernia Reit chief executive Kevin Nowlan. Photograph: Tom Honan.

Hibernia Reit chief executive Kevin Nowlan. Photograph: Tom Honan.

 

Property group Hibernia Reit said rent collections remained strong as Covid-19 restrictions eased, although an increase in investor and occupier activity in the wider market had yet to be reflected in take-up figures.

The company, which held its annual general meeting on Tuesday, said more than 98 per cent of commercial rent for the quarter ending September 2021 had either been received or was on an agreed payment plan, with 95 per cent of rent received. Commercial rents fall due at the start of a quarter.

Residential rents were similarly strong, with 98 per cent of contracted rent received for July, along with 99 per cent of May and June rent.

During the period, three rent reviews and one lease variation were executed over 77,000 sq ft of offices, with no material net change in contracted rent but some increase in lease term.

The property company has completed its 2 Cumberland Place development, which adds 58,000sq ft of new offices to its portfolio. The completion of the building has increased the company’s vacancy rate to 9 per cent from 7 per cent at March 31st, with much of the remaining available space in the Forum and Central Quay.

Harcourt Square

Hibernia Reit said non-binding heads of terms have been agreed for a pre-let of the majority of Harcourt Square.

The property group invested €2.7 million in bolt-on acquisitions of properties since the last quarter, it said.

“It has been encouraging to see investor and occupier activity picking up, though this is yet to be reflected in take-up figures. Visibility on the pace and shape of the economic recovery remains low but we are well-positioned with a clear strategy, low leverage and a high-quality tenant base,” said Kevin Nowlan, chief executive of Hibernia.

“We continue to focus on preparing our exciting major office developments for commencement in the near term and the potential pre-let at Harcourt Square announced this morning is an important step in this regard.”

Hibernia had net debt of €273 million and cash and undrawn facilities of €122 million at the end of June.

When the €125 million proceeds from the issue of 10 and 12-year US private placement notes, committed expenditure and payment of the final dividend of 3.4 cent per share were factored in, pro-forma cash and undrawn facilities totalled €216 million.