Global strategy of the Cofinimmo Group
What are the risks faced by the Group?
Does the Group plan to extend its activities to countries other than Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland and Ireland?
Does the Cofinimmo Group do property development?
Does the Cofinimmo Group do property development with a view to sell?
Valuation of the property portfolio of the Cofinimmo Group
How is the portfolio of investment properties of the Cofinimmo Group valued?
The value of the investment properties of the Cofinimmo Group is the average of the values resulting from two valuation approaches: the ERV (Estimated Rental Value) capitalization approach and the DCF (Discounted Cash Flow) approach.
- The ERV (Estimated Rental Value) capitalisation approach consists in capitalising the Estimated Rental Value (ERV) of the property using a market yield in line with the investment market.
- The DCF (Discounted Cash Flow) approach requires the assessment of the net rental income generated by the property on a yearly basis during an explicit forecasted period. The projected period varies generally between 10 to 18 years. At the end of this period, an exit value is calculated, taking into account the anticipated rent and yield at term horizon.
These two approaches are detailed on pages 99-100 of the 2019 annual report.
How are the development projects of the Cofinimmo Group valued?
Land and old heavily to be refurbished buildings are valued using the residual valuation approach. It consists in determining the size and type of project that can be built/refurbished according to town planning regulations, to then estimate the value of the end project and the costs that need to be incurred to realise such a project. The difference between the two estimates is the residual value. The costs incurred during the (re)development are then added to this residual value as the works progress. See page 100 of the 2019 annual report.
What is Cofinimmo’s accounting treatment of the assets which lease receivables have been sold?
- At the closing of the lease receivables sale: The accounting value of sold receivables is derecognized from the balance sheet (heading “Investment properties”). The net proceeds of the sale are used to pay down corporate debt. The difference between the accounting value of the lease receivables sold and the net proceeds is accounted upfront under the financial result.
- Recurrent after the closing of the transaction: The writeback of the lease payments sold is accounted for under the P&L (heading “Net rental income”). It is a non-cash item. The variation in the expected fair value of the property at the end of the lease, determined quarterly by external real estate experts, is accounted for under the P&L (heading “Change in fair value of investment properties”). The counterpart of these two bookings is accounted for under the balance sheet (heading “Investment properties”).
Healthcare real estate portfolio of the Cofinimmo Group
How are the healthcare sectors organised in Belgium, France and the Netherlands ?
Nursing and care homes:
- There are three types of operators of nursing and care homes in Belgium: the public sector, the non-profit private sector, and private operators. Each type of operator accounts for about a third of the market.
- There are three types of residences for dependent elderly people in Belgium: nursing homes, nursing and care homes, and service flats. Unlike the first two types, service flats do not offer medical services.
- Around 50 % of the income of operators of nursing and care homes comes from social security, with the other 50 % coming from the residents.
- The number of nursing and care home beds is limited by geographical zone and set by the public authorities.
- The daily price paid by a nursing and care home resident varies from 30 EUR to 80 EUR, depending on the home’s geographical location and the services offered. The average daily price is 40 EUR. This daily price may be increased only on account of indexation or in the event of substantial renovation.
- There are three types of hospitals in Belgium: university hospitals (15 %), non-university hospitals (75 %), and hospitals in the non-market sector (10 %). Private clinics account for 7 % of the market.
- The largest share of the income of public operators of hospitals comes from social security.
- Any operator in the healthcare sector in France must obtain statutory authorisation to be able to offer medical services.
Nursing and care homes:
- There are three types of operators of nursing and care homes in France: the public sector (50 %), the non-profit private sector (30 %), and private operators (20 %).
- There are several types of residences for dependent people in France: EHPAD establishments (Etablissement d’Hébergement pour Personnes Agées Dépendantes) and service flats, dealing with long-term dependency care, SSR establishments (Soins de Suite et de Réadaptation) and MPR establishments (Médecine Physique et Réadaptation), dealing with short-term dependency care.
- 70 % of the income of EHPAD operators comes from the residents (“accommodation charge”). Around 20 % comes from social security, depending on the establishment’s degree of patient care (“care charge”). The other 10% comes mainly from public funds (“dependency charge”).
- The creation, conversion or extension of an EHPAD is subject to advance authorisation, issued by the public authorities. Every project must also be the subject of a call for projects.
- The daily price of an EHPAD is set freely by the establishments but its annual reassessment is subject to a ceiling set annually by the public authorities.
- 80–90 % of the income of operators of hospitals comes from social security, with the other 10–20 % coming from patients and private insurance companies.
In the Netherlands:
- In the Netherlands, medical services are provided by general hospitals, university hospitals, specialised hospitals, and independent private care centres (Zelfstanding Behandel Centra, ZBC).
- Every Dutch resident must take out health insurance.
- Operators in the healthcare sector invoice their care to the insurance companies on the basis of a list of 3,500 treatments. Prices and volumes invoiced are set either on a flat-rate basis by the public authorities (budget granted to insurance companies) or by free negotiation between the operators and the insurers.
What is the difference between a “triple net” and a “double net” lease contract?
“Triple net” leases provide that the operating expenses of a property (i.e. taxes, insurances and maintenance) are fully borne by the tenant. In the case of “double net” leases, the maintenance expenses are (partially) transferred to the landlord (maintenance of the structure of the building, of the roof, of the window frames, for example).
If regulation in the healthcare sector evolves, is it at the owner’s cost or at the operator’s ?
It depends on the provisions of the lease contract.
- In the case of a “triple net” lease, the cost of complying with the new norms is borne by the operator tenant.
- In the case of a “double net” lease, the details of the lease contract need to be examined. If, for example, the lease contract states that the maintenance of the window frames is the landlord’s responsibility, the latter will have to see to it that the size of the windows is in compliance with regulation.
When it comes to norms regarding the operational management of the nursing home or clinic, the cost of complying with new norms is borne by the operator tenant.
What is the risk for the Cofinimmo Group if an operator tenant of a healthcare asset goes bankrupt?
The agreements between the Cofinimmo Group and the operators of healthcare assets provide for a guarantee from the mother company of the operator. Moreover, if the latter was to leave the Group, he would have to set up a bank guarantee. As a reminder, the operators have an obligation towards the Cofinimmo Group of regular financial reporting, enabling the Group to actively and closely monitor their financial health.
Management of financial resources
How is the regulatory debt-to-assets ratio of the Cofinimmo Group calculated?
Regulatory debt-to-assets ratio:
Non-current financial debts
+ Other non-current financial liabilities (except for hedging instruments)
+ Trade debts and other non-current debts
+ Current financial debts
+ Other current financial liabilities (except for hedging instruments)
+ Trade debts and other current debts
= Total debts
/ Total assets (except for hedging instruments)
= Regulatory debt-to-assets ratio
What are the target levels of the Cofinimmo Group in terms of regulatory debt-to-assets ratio?
Even though the legal status of RREC allows a debt-to-assets ratio (defined as financial and other debts divided by total consolidated balance sheet assets) of maximum 65% and the banking agreements allow a ratio of 60%, the group's policy is to maintain a debt-to-assets ratio of about 45%. This level has been determined at European level through markt standards for listed real estate companies and takes into account the long average residual length of leases.
What are the covenants related to the debt of the Cofinimmo Group?
Cofinimmo’s credit agreements, when they refer to a debt ceiling, refer to the regularory debt-to-assets ratio and cap it at 60%. The Group must at all time have a debt-to-assets ratio below the 60% threshold otherwise the financing conditions can be reviewed. As a reminder, the maximum debt-de-assets ratio for RRECs is 65%.
How is the ICR (Interest Covering Ratio) of the Cofinimmo Group calculated?
Interest Covering Ratio:
+ Interests on finance lease receivables
- Financial revenues
+ Interests on finance lease receivables
+ Amortisation costs of hedging instruments
= Net financial charges
/ Net financial charges
= Interest Covering Ratio
What is the interest rate hedging policy of the Cofinimmo Group?
For a detailed presentation of the interest rate hedging policy of the Cofinimmo Group, please consult the chapter “Investor Relations/Debt information” of this website.
What are the benefits of having the RREC (Regulated Real Estate Company) status in Belgium, the SIIC (Société d’Investissement en Immobilier Cotée) status in France and the FBI (Fiscale BeleggingsInstelling) status in the Netherlands?
RREC, SIIC and FBI benefit from a tax exemption on most of their revenues. In exchange, they must meet a number of obligations, in particular in terms of their result distribution. For more details on the RREC, SIIC and FBI regimes, please consult the chapter “About Cofinimmo/Regimes” of this website.
What is the tax treatment of the dividend on Cofinimmo shares?
A withholding tax of 30 % on the total gross dividend is retained at source, unless the shareholder can demonstrate entitlement to a specific exoneration. In principle, the withholding tax of 30 % is a flat-rate tax on the transaction for individuals investing in a private capacity, entities subject to corporation tax and non-residents who have not allocated the shares as part of a professional activity in Belgium. For taxpayers subject to corporation tax, the withholding tax of 30 % is not a flat-rate tax. These companies must declare gross dividends and will be subject to corporation tax (except in circumstances where a reduced rate applies). Some investors benefit from an exoneration or reduction in the rate of withholding tax, pursuant to a provision of domestic law or a double taxation agreement. Potential investors are advised to consult a tax advisor to find out about the specific tax implications of their personal situation.