Setting the Stage for Growth Through Organic Improvement and Acquisitions
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – March 12, 2015) – InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust (“InnVest” or the “REIT”) (TSX:INN.UN), today announced financial results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2014.
“The year 2014 was truly a transformational year for InnVest, highlighted by the internalization of our senior management and asset management functions, the introduction of new Board and CEO leadership and the continued successful execution of our strategic plan to strengthen the quality of our portfolio and balance sheet. We culminated this active year with improvements across key operating metrics during the fourth quarter including same-hotel RevPAR growth, overall margin expansion and pro forma leverage reduction to approximately 60%,” commented Drew Coles, InnVest’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Renovations of over $137 million completed over the past two years have contributed to this improvement and are expected to continue to provide us with attractive growth. We see additional opportunities to improve the competitive positioning of several hotels in our portfolio and also remain committed to selectively growing our portfolio at returns that are expected to exceed our cost of capital.”
Fourth Quarter Operating Highlights
- Same-hotel RevPAR improved 3.7%.
- Revenues from the 31 Comfort Inn hotels which were renovated in 2013 grew 19.3% as compared to the prior year and are up 8.0% as compared to 2012, prior to the renovations.
- Excluding $1.2 million of business interruption proceeds included in the prior year, GOP margins improved 170 basis points to 22.0%.
- Net earnings improved $46.6 million to a net loss of $1.2 million or $0.011 per unit diluted (vs net loss of $47.7 million or $0.509 per unit diluted in 2013).
- FFO of $0.10 per unit diluted (vs $0.127 in 2013) reflects incremental units outstanding, transition costs contributing to higher corporate expenses, as well as unusual deferred financing charges expensed during the quarter.
Fourth Quarter Strategic Highlights
- Internalized asset management and appointed a new CEO in December 2014.
- Acquired the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and entered into an agreement to acquire a 20% interest in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto (“Royal York Hotel”).
- Sold three non-core hotels for aggregate gross proceeds of $34.9 million (19 hotels sold for $126.4 million in 2014).
- Reduced leverage from 65.5% at the end of the prior year to approximately 60% pro forma the conversion of convertible debentures subsequent to the end of the year.
InnVest’s Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 are available on InnVest’s website at www.innvestreit.com.
SELECTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION
|Three Months Ended||Three Months Ended|
|December 31,||December 31,||Year Ended||Year Ended|
|2014||2013||December 31,||December 31,|
|($000s except per unit amounts)||(unaudited)||(unaudited)||2014||2013|
|Other real estate properties||178||189||724||1,810|
|Gross operating profit (1)|
|Other real estate properties||(110||)||(90||)||(386||)||306|
|Net loss and comprehensive loss||$||(1,182||)||$||(47,741||)||$||(14,727||)||$||(54,956||)|
|Reconciliation to FFO|
|Add / (deduct)|
|Depreciation and amortization||20,890||21,225||81,149||82,534|
|Deferred income tax recovery||–||(1,741||)||–||(2,085||)|
|Unrealized changes in the fair value of financial liabilities||(203||)||8,901||9,700||12,728|
|(including fair value changes in unit-based compensation)|
|(Recovery) writedown of hotel and other real estate||(710||)||28,454||3,754||30,840|
|Distributions included in corporate and administrative expense||36||36||145||145|
|Gain on sale of assets, net||(14,210||)||(3,202||)||(18,774||)||(11,904||)|
|Gain on redemption and amendment of convertible||–||–||(11,628||)||–|
|Proxy defense and settlement costs||–||–||3,594||–|
|Acturial losses on defined benefit plan settlement||1,414||–||1,414||–|
|Lease surrender cost||–||6,500||–||6,500|
|Funds from operations (2)||$||10,359||$||12,432||$||58,451||$||63,802|
|Reconciliation to AFFO|
|Add / (deduct)|
|Non-cash portion of mortgage interest expense||2,313||532||4,604||2,138|
|Non-cash portion of convertible debentures interest and||920||1,141||3,864||4,817|
|Per unit data – Diluted|
|Net loss and comprehensive loss||$||(0.011||)||$||(0.509||)||$||(0.152||)||$||(0.586||)|
|(1)||Gross operating income (“GOP”) is defined as revenues less hotel and other real estate properties expenses.|
|(2)||FFO and AFFO are non-IFRS financial measures of earnings and cash flow commonly used by industry analysts. Non-IFRS financial measures do not have a standardized meaning and are unlikely to be comparable to similar financial measures used by other organizations.|
The operating statistics relating to gross room revenues for the three months and year ended December 31, 2014 and 2013 are on a same-hotel basis (109 hotels) and exclude hotels sold or acquired since the start of the periods presented.
|Three months ended||Variance to 2013||Year ended December||Variance to 2013|
|December 31, 2014||31, 2014|
|Ontario||61.6%||0.9 pts||65.5%||1.9 pts|
|Quebec||57.9%||(0.1 pts)||62.9%||(0.6 pts)|
|Atlantic||50.9%||2.0 pts||59.3%||2.5 pts|
|Western||64.2%||1.9 pts||64.5%||0.3 pts|
|Total||59.7%||1.1 pts||63.8%||1.2 pts|
Three months ended December 31, 2014
Realized same-hotel RevPAR growth of 3.7%, benefitting from a combination of rate and occupancy gains. Excluding twelve hotels impacted by renovations during the quarter, same-hotel RevPAR growth would have approximated 4.6%. RevPAR growth was experienced across all regions led by strength in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Growth in the Western region following renovations completed was somewhat offset by slowing transient demand trends in the Alberta region (owing to the decline in the price of oil) and reduced performance in the Regina market (hosted the Grey Cup in prior year). Renovations at a number of limited service hotels in Quebec constrained growth achieved during the quarter.
Same-hotel revenues during the three months ended December 31, 2014 improved $2.6 million or 2.2%. Prior year revenues included $1.2 million of non-recurring business interruption insurance revenue related to Calgary floods in 2013. Revenues from the 31 Comfort Inn hotels which were renovated in 2013 grew 19.3% as compared to the prior year and are up 8.0% as compared to 2012 (prior to renovations). Same-hotel growth and the addition of the Hyatt Regency in December was offset by hotel divestitures resulted in an overall revenue decline.
Excluding the prior year business interruption proceeds, GOP declined $0.8 million or approximately 2.8% reflecting the planned reduction in hotels due to the divestiture program (21 hotels have been sold since the fourth quarter of 2013). Excluding the prior year business interruption proceed benefit, same-hotel GOP margins improved 170 basis points to 22.0%.
Higher mortgage interest expense during the fourth quarter reflects the new mortgage associated with the Hyatt Regency acquisition in December 2014, the funding of the KingSett loan during the second quarter and higher amortization of deferred financing fees relating to new debt as well as an election to not extend a maturity in early 2015 (resulted in a $1.0 million deferred financing charge in the fourth quarter). These increases were largely offset by the net repayment of mortgage debt from asset sales and reduced convertible debenture interest resulting from the repayment of $98.8 million of convertible debentures during the year.
Corporate and administrative expenses increased $1.6 million year-over-year and are reflective of incremental expenses relating to InnVest’s business transition which included costs incurred in the search for a permanent chief executive officer for the REIT as well as a $1.4 million non-cash loss on the settlement of pension plans during the quarter.
Transaction costs of $4.3 million relating to the Hyatt Regency acquisition were expensed during the fourth quarter including $2.4 million related to land transfer costs and $1.0 million relating to non-recoverable sales taxes paid on chattels. Fourth quarter results include non-cash gain on sales of $14.2 million and the reversal of prior impairments totaling $0.7 million.
For the three months ended December 31, 2014, InnVest generated FFO of $10.4 million ($0.100 per unit diluted) and AFFO of $8.2 million ($0.079 per unit diluted).
Year ended December 31, 2014
Same-hotel RevPAR grew 3.9% during the year ended December 31, 2014. Same-hotel revenues achieved were limited by business disruption related to renovations at select hotels during the year.
Hotel divestitures completed since 2013 contributed to the hotel revenue decline of $50.3 million, or 8.6%. Other real estate revenues also declined $1.1 million owing to an office complex sale in May 2013.
GOP margins improved 120 basis points to 24.1%, largely benefiting from the divestiture of low yielding assets. Same-hotel GOP margins were stable at 25.0% reflecting the impact of renovation displacement at a number of hotels which offset growth experienced at hotels which completed renovations in the prior year. Limited cost savings are achieved during renovation periods given the high fixed-cost nature of expenses. Hotel GOP margins for the Comfort Inn hotels renovated in 2013 improved 650 basis points for the year ended December 31, 2014, highlighting the significant operating leverage from improving revenue performance following renovations.
As part of a proxy contest settlement reached in March 2014, InnVest incurred $3.6 million in non-recurring costs, including the reimbursement of customary transaction costs incurred by the parties involved. These and other transitional costs incurred contributed to the higher corporate and administrative expenses as compared to the prior year.
For the year ended December 31, 2014, InnVest generated FFO of $58.5 million ($0.574 per unit diluted) and AFFO of $44.4 million ($0.441 per unit diluted).
Following a broad and intensive search process, in December 2014, InnVest’s Board of Trustees appointed Andrew (Drew) Coles as full-time President and Chief Executive Officer of InnVest. Mr. Coles is charged with leading the continued execution of InnVest’s strategy and driving long-term, sustainable growth for the REIT.
On November 26, 2014, InnVest issued 12,050,000 units, at a price of $5.25 per unit or $63.3 million (the “Public Offering”). Concurrently, InnVest issued 9,000,000 units to funds managed by Kingsett Capital, Orange Capital and Westmont Hospitality Group, three of InnVest’s largest unitholders, together with certain trustees and officers of InnVest by way of a concurrent private placement at the same price per unit as those sold under the Public Offering (the “Concurrent Private Placement”) for gross proceeds of $47.3 million. Underwriting fees were not paid on the Concurrent Private Placement. The net proceeds from the Public Offering and Concurrent Private Placement were allocated to fund the acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, for capital expenditures, debt repayment and potential future acquisitions, including InnVest’s 20% interest in the Royal York Hotel in February 2015.
In December 2014, InnVest completed the acquisition of the 644-room Hyatt Regency Vancouver from an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation for $139.0 million (net of a $1.0 million credit from the vendor). A Hyatt Hotels Corporation affiliate will continue to provide management services to the hotel under a new long-term management contract. InnVest funded the acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Hotel with a new $70 million, 3.8% floating rate mortgage (three-year term plus two one-year renewal options) and cash on hand.
In February 2015 InnVest completed the previously announced acquisition of a 20% interest in the 1,363- room Royal York Hotel in Toronto through an agreement with KingSett Real Estate Growth LP No. 5 and Ivanhoé Cambridge (the “Partnership”). The Partnership acquired the Royal York Hotel for an aggregate price of $186.5 million, or $137,000 per room, with InnVest’s 20% share being approximately $37.3 million. The Partnership financed the acquisition with an approximate $100 million, 3-year, 3.8% floating rate mortgage. InnVest funded its proportionate share of the acquisition equity with available cash. The Partnership believes in the long term future success of the Royal York Hotel and expects to invest over $50 million of additional funds for renovations over the next 24 months.
PORTFOLIO REPOSITIONING PROGRAM
During the fourth quarter of 2014, three non-core assets were sold for gross proceeds of $34.9 million (net proceeds of $31.5 million). Since the start of 2013, management has completed hotel divestitures of $239.5 million (net proceeds of $128.5 million), exceeding its original two-year divestiture objectives of $185 million.
Seven remaining non-core properties are expected to generate further gross proceeds of over $40 million (net proceeds of approximately $15 million). Two hotels were under contract for aggregate gross proceeds of over $15 million at the end of the year.
CAPITAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM
InnVest has invested $137.1 million in its portfolio over the past two years, including $76.9 million in 2014. Hotels which have completed renovations are exceeding results achieved from hotels which have yet to be renovated, highlighting the return opportunities provided by internal investments within the existing portfolio.
As part of InnVest’s brand revitalization program, InnVest’s entire core Comfort Inn portfolio of 58 hotels was renovated (31 in 2013 and 27 in 2014). Given the extensive renovation and repositioning of the Comfort Inn assets, these hotels are experiencing a transition period following the completion of renovations as our property managers and sales teams reposition the hotels within their competitive sets and shift the business mix to higher rated segments. Based on experience to-date, the typical period for these hotels to fully ramp up from the renovation can be upwards of a year, depending on the market. The 31 Comfort Inns renovated throughout 2013 experienced 19.3% growth in room revenues during the fourth quarter (11.7% for the annual period) and 97.1% improvement in Hotel GOP (33.6% for the annual period) as compared to the prior year.
Full-service hotels under renovations in 2014 included two hotels in Calgary (the Fairmont Palliser and the Sheraton Calgary Eau Claire), the Delta Winnipeg, Delta Prince Edward and the Holiday Inn London Hotel & Suites (rebranded in October 2014).
Since the second quarter of 2013, 63 of InnVest’s Core Portfolio hotels have been renovated through the end of 2014 (58 Comfort Inn hotels and 5 full-service hotels). The following table summarizes fourth quarter operating results across the same-hotel Core Portfolio and serves to highlight the displacement experienced while work is underway as well as the growth achieved-to-date following the completion of renovations. Moreover, the table below indicates that revenues for renovated Comfort Inn hotels generally take a few quarters to ramp-up as the growth in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2014 for hotels renovated in 2014 was down 4.8% as compared to growth of 19.3% for hotels renovated in 2013. For the Comfort Inns renovated in 2014 the operating trends are positive post renovations, however the improvements to the end of December have not been sufficient to offset the business displacement experienced during the renovation period.
|Three months ended December 31, 2014|
|# of||# of||Room||Variance to prior||Hotel||Variance to prior|
|hotels||rooms||revenue $||year comparative||GOP||year comparative|
|Core Comfort Inn Portfolio|
|Renovated in 2013||31||2,502||13,686||2,213||19.3%||5,272||2,597||97.1%|
|Renovated in 2014||27||1,977||8,784||(445||)||(4.8%||)||2,023||(840||)||(29.3%||)|
|Core Comfort Inn Portfolio||58||4,479||22,470||1,768||8.5%||7,295||1,757||31.7%|
|Core hotels under renovation in 2014/2013||5||1,475||16,104||477||3.1%||7,038||(927||)||(11.6%||)|
|Other Core hotels||40||6,833||47,688||730||1.6%||12,658||(1,601||)||(11.2%||)|
|Total Core Portfolio2||103||12,787||$86,262||$2,975||3.6%||$26,991||$(771||)||(2.8%||)|
|1 – Based on the period in which substantial completion of renovations were completed.|
|2 – Excludes hotels acquired during the year.|
At December 31, 2014, InnVest has total current liquidity of $121.3 million (including cash and current availability under various debt facilities).
Financing initiatives completed in 2014 have contributed to diversifying InnVest’s funding and liquidity sources, lowering weighted average interest costs and significantly reducing InnVest’s overall leverage, including reducing its reliance on dilutive securities. At December 31, 2014, InnVest’s leverage totaled 62.0% (47.4% excluding convertible debentures), a 350 basis point improvement from the prior year.
Subsequent to the end of the year, InnVest announced the early redemption of its Series D 6.75% convertible debentures (the “Series D Debenture”) on March 3, 2015 (due March 31, 2016). Subsequent to December 31, 2014, Series D Debentures totaling $32.7 million were converted into 5,739,465 units ($5.70 conversion price). On March 3, 2015, InnVest redeemed and cancelled $3.6 million of remaining Series D Debentures. Pro forma the conversions and redemption, InnVest’s leverage would further improve to approximately 60%. InnVest remains committed to maintaining this debt reduction although debt leverage may vary through the year based on seasonality and optimal permanent financing.
In early 2015, management elected not to exercise a one year option to extend mortgage debt of $155.8 million. As a result, InnVest has almost $220 million of mortgages with a weighted average interest rate of 5.5% maturing in 2015. Management expects to refinance this debt on advantageous terms including reducing the interest rate and further extending the term to maturity.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, the 2015 economic growth for Canada is forecast to be 1.9% and grow to 2.1% in 2016. While growth is forecast across most provinces, Alberta’s economy is expected to be negatively impacted by the decline in oil prices which is expected to broadly impact economic performance in the province. The related reduction in retail gas prices and the relative decline in the Canadian dollar are expected to have a mitigating effect on this potential decline. Of note, British Columbia and Manitoba are expected to exceed the national average growth rate in 2015 which would benefit our newest acquisition in Vancouver and our newly renovated full-service hotel in Winnipeg. Our broad, diversified portfolio of quality assets provides us with appropriate risk mitigation in the face of regional disparities. Hotel industry consultants, HVS, are forecasting Canadian national RevPAR growth of 3.8%.
As we look to 2015, we expect earnings to continue to grow as our renovated hotels benefit from capital investments completed, our newly-acquired hotels contribute to our portfolio performance and our remaining portfolio capitalizes on positive industry fundamentals.
Our prudent financial management and improved balance sheet has helped lower our cost of capital and position InnVest to execute on opportunities that may present themselves in 2015 and beyond. We continue to see significant redevelopment and return-on-investment projects within our existing portfolio and also intend to further diversify and upgrade our portfolio through select acquisitions.
InnVest is committed to enhancing unitholder alignment and growing unitholder value. InnVest’s strategy to reduce debt leverage (including reducing InnVest’s reliance on dilutive convertible securities), reposition its portfolio and invest in core assets is expected to enhance the stability and growth of the portfolio’s long-term cash flows and valuation.
QUARTERLY CONFERENCE CALL
Management will host a conference call on Thursday March 12, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss the performance of InnVest. Investors are invited to access the call by dialing 416-340-2218 or 1-800-396-7098. You will be required to identify yourself and the organization on whose behalf you are participating. A recording of this call will be made available March 12, 2015 beginning at 7:00 pm through to March 27, 2015. To access the recording please call 905-694-9451 or 1-800-408-3053 and use the reservation number 9993444#.
A live audio webcast of the conference call will be accessible on InnVest’s website at www.innvestreit.com. A replay will be available on InnVest’s website for 90 days after the conference call.
InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust is an unincorporated open-ended real estate investment trust which owns a portfolio of 110 hotels across Canada representing over 15,000 guest rooms operated under internationally recognized brands. InnVest also holds a 50% interest in Choice Hotels Canada Inc., one of the largest franchisors of hotels in Canada.
InnVest’s units and convertible debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) under the symbols INN.UN, INN.DB.E, INN.DB.F and INN.DB.G.
CAUTIONARY AND FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
GOP, FFO and AFFO are additional and non-IFRS financial measures of earnings and cash flow commonly used by industry analysts. Additional and non-IFRS financial measures do not have a standardized meaning and are unlikely to be comparable to similar financial measures used by other organizations.
Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include statements with respect to assumptions and forecasts of future results for InnVest, including recent acquisitions. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations of management and involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Among the key factors that could cause such differences are InnVest’s capital requirements and available sources of funds, changes to InnVest’s business strategy (including InnVest’s ability to divest of assets for expected proceeds; achievement of plans to develop an optimal asset portfolio through completion of acquisitions and reinvestments in the portfolio; ability to achieve and maintain lower debt leverage target; and achieve return expectations on acquisitions and capital investments completed); extent of realized benefit from the internalization of senior management and asset management functions; real estate investment risks; hotel industry risks; competition; ability to refinance debt on advantageous terms; and the status of InnVest as a REIT for Canadian federal income tax purposes in any year. These and other factors are discussed in InnVest’s annual information form, which is available at www.sedar.com. In making such forward-looking statements, management has relied upon a number of material factors and assumptions, including with respect to: current and future levels of investment in and renovations within its existing portfolio including recently acquired hotels; the existing portfolio, including recently acquired hotels’, expected future financial performance; general economic and financial conditions.
Although management of InnVest believes that the expectations with respect to such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and, accordingly, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list is not exhaustive. The forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof and InnVest disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required to do so by applicable securities law.
Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations
(905) 206-7114 (FAX)