Strong demand in the Dublin office market...
Hibernia REIT has reported a 56% increase in net rental income to €39.7 million for the year to the end of March.
The value of its property portfolio was up 9.9% to €1.17 billion.
The publicly-quoted commercial property investment vehicle completed three Grade-A office schemes in the Greater Dublin area during the year and expects to complete another three by the middle of next year.
Net asset value per share was 12% higher over the year to 146.3c.
Profit before tax was €119m, down from €136m in 2016.
Hibernia is proposing to increase its dividend by 47% and expects dividends to become an increasingly important component of shareholder returns in the future.
Full-year results show a total property return of 14.5%, outstripping the 11.2% return for the overall property market, as measured by the Society of Chartered Surveys IPD property index.
In total, new lettings and rent reviews increased contracted rents by €10.4m, bringing contracted rents to €48.3m, up 24% year-on-year. Strong demand in the Dublin office market saw rents pass Celtic Tiger levels in some areas.
Chief executive officer Kevin Nowlan (pictured) said:
“We are very pleased to report strong results, outperforming the Irish property index, driven particularly by development activity and asset management in the second half...
“In addition we have made good progress in the year in de-risking the portfolio: we have acquired full control of 1WML, we have clarity on the date of the OPW’s departure from Harcourt Square, the three developments we completed this year are fully let and pre-leasing is progressing well in our committed schemes."
"Looking ahead, we are positive about our prospects," Nowlan continued. "Economic momentum remains strong in Ireland and we are seeing continued interest in Dublin from UK-based occupiers following the UK’s decision to leave the EU: we expect that decisions on destination cities will start to be made in the second half of the year.
"We have a portfolio rich in opportunity, an exciting development pipeline and a strong balance sheet for further investment where we see opportunity."