Por Andre Romani
SÃO PAULO (Reuters) – Shopping center operator Aliansce (BVMF:) Sonae posted an 86% drop in net profit for the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year, pressured by expenses from the merger with rival brMalls (BVMF:) , but raised by up to 50 million reais the projection of operational synergies with the transaction, as disclosed by the company this Thursday.
Aliansce Sonae had a net profit, without linear rent adjustment, of 19.8 million reais between October and the end of December, down 85.9%. The result considers the company before the merger, as the deal was concluded only at the beginning of January this year.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) reached 242.8 million reais in the quarter, down 3.8% year-on-year.
Daniella Guanabara, financial and investor relations director at Aliansce Sonae, said non-recurring expenses related to the acquisition weighed on profit. “There are consultants who helped us, lawyers, integration consultancy,” she told Reuters, adding also the negative impact of the financial result on the bottom line of the balance sheet, given the high level of interest rates.
Non-recurring expenses amounted to BRL 115.4 million in the quarter, while the financial result deteriorated by 16.5% in 12 months, to BRL 60.6 million.
While the transaction with brMalls pressured recent results, expectations for the coming years improved after the merger was completed, as the companies had access to more internal documents.
Aliansce Sonae raised this Thursday the projection of operational synergies with the transaction to between 180 million reais and 210 million reais by 2028, a number that involves both expense cuts and revenue gains. Before, the estimate was 160 million reais.
In addition, the financial synergies, which were expected at 50 million reais, have already been captured. “The financial synergies we were able to achieve even before the integration of the companies, because brMalls managed to issue a debt at a cheaper cost and managed to prepay some debts with more expensive costs, which was the origin of this financial synergy.”
The executive said that in January and February 2023 the combined company had total sales 19% above the same period last year. “Even with this news we had from retailers, this did not impact sales at the beginning of the year,” he said.
Aliansce Sonae recorded net revenue of BRL 292.7 million in the quarter, up 5.4% year-on-year, with an increase of 8.5% in total sales. The company earns most of its revenue from leasing points in malls. Same-store sales rose 8.4% and same-store rent grew 37.2%.
The occupancy rate at the company’s malls increased to 97.4% from 96.5% a year earlier, while occupancy cost as a percentage of revenue rose from 10% to 10.5%.
The company also revealed the completion, in February this year, of the sale of 10% of Passeio das Águas Shopping, in Goiânia, with a “cap-rate” (capitalization rate) of 8.5%, considering the valuation of the asset at 450 millions of reais.
BRMALLS HAS A LOSS
brMalls, which in the fourth quarter still discloses separate results despite the merger having already been closed, had an adjusted net loss of 18.4 million reais in the fourth quarter, after profit of 48.2 million a year earlier.
Recurring adjusted Ebitda rose 76.8% on the same basis, to 333.9 million reais, while net revenue increased 23.8%, to 426.1 million reais.
In terms of operations, same-store sales increased by 9.7% and same-store rent increased by 16.8%.