Retail Revenue up at Mercator, But Real Estate Leads to Losses for 2017

By , 26 Apr 2018, 12:06 PM Business
Retail Revenue up at Mercator, But Real Estate Leads to Losses for 2017 Wikimedia

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STA, 26 April 2018 - The group around retailer Mercator recorded a EUR 184m net loss in 2017, largely due to real estate impairments resulting from a new accounting policy and amounting to EUR 145.8m. Adjusting for the negative effect of one-off events, the group wrapped up last year with a EUR 6m profit, the company's report says. 

The company said that while the reappraisal had reduced the value of its real estate by only 1.4%, international accounting standards stipulate that "all impairments of real estate shall debit the income statement, while all increases in value shall be recognized in equity".

"Adjusting for the negative effect of one-off non-recurring events, Mercator Group's bottom line is a profit of EUR 6m, which is considerably better than in 2016 when it ended the year with a loss of EUR 31m," the report says.

The group recorded revenue growth from its core retail operations for the first time since 2011. Net retail revenue amounted to EUR 1.6bn, a 2.5% increase.

The group generated EUR 90.6m in normalized earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation EBITDA, 45.4% more than in 2017.

The report moreover highlights that the company wrapped up last year its first deal as part of efforts to sell off or monetise its vast real estate holdings, signing a EUR 49m agreement on the sale of Mercator Centre Belgrade in December.

The group had EUR 882m-worth of liabilities at the end of 2017, down EUR 21m from a year before. Net financial debt decreased by 8.5m to EUR 828m.

Mercator plans to collect a total EUR 300m via the monetisation and sale of non-essential assets.

The company wishes to reduce its debt as quickly as possible and is counting primarily on monetisation - between 8 and 22 large shopping centres in Slovenia are slated for monetisation - not wanting to rush with the sale of real estate.

Mercator chairman Tomislav Čizmić told the press in Ljubljana that no new negative on-off events were expected at present.

Čizmić is convinced Mercator is a better company today than it was a year ago. It has met all its commitments from a year ago and responded to all the challenges related to operations and to the problems of its owner, Croatian conglomerate Agrokor.

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