The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Hili Properties eyes new assets to pursue portfolio growth

Monday, 20 September 2021, 09:38 Last update: about 2 months ago

Hili Properties, the international real estate investment subsidiary of Hili Ventures, is examining the potential of new target assets in foreign markets as it pursues its strategy to grow portfolio value and increase returns for its stakeholders.

Entirely Maltese-owned, Hili Properties is a strategic investor in commercial real estate in Europe’s most thriving cities and up-and-coming locations. Structured as a group of companies, Hili Properties holds and manages strategic commercial real estate for lease in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania – territories where its parent company Hili Ventures enjoys a solid reputation thanks to its presence with nationwide restaurant operations.

The property group, established in 2012 with a dedicated senior executive team reporting to its own board of directors, is now focused on tapping investment opportunities in these countries and in others where Hili Ventures already has a strong presence. It has an eye on Poland and an appetite for new ventures in the Baltic states – these territories have exhibited advantageous investment potential in real estate for the past few years.

Hili Properties’ portfolio, a strong asset base currently valued at €113 million, comprises six grocery-anchored shopping centres across Latvia’s capital Riga, a private hospital in Bucharest, Romania, 11 properties housing restaurants in key commercial districts in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta, and three dedicated business blocks and office space in Sliema, Marsa and Floriana. Its tenants include McDonald’s, Swedish-owned supermarket giant Rimi, and Norwegian newsagent/convenience chain Narvesen.

Hili Properties Chairman Pier Luca Demajo: “Hili Properties operates a very straightforward and low risk business model. We are an investor, not a developer.”

The current assets encompass 75,500 square metres of rentable real estate, enjoying an occupancy level of 95% with an advantageous weighted average unexpired lease term of 9.3 years. In its entirety, the portfolio has been amassed by design to generate income and capital growth through active asset management to maximise operating efficiency and profitability.

At property level, Hili Properties is focused on nurturing relationships with communities and enhancing tenant experience. With extensive experience in property management and a deep understanding of its target locations, every asset in Hili Properties’ portfolio is managed to realise its full potential to benefit a whole spectrum of stakeholders.

“Over the past few years, Hili Properties has invested heavily in assets outside Malta following a clearly defined strategy to identify assets with attractive commercial potential and reposition them on their respective markets,” Hili Ventures Chief Executive Officer Melo Hili explains.

“As Hili Ventures has considerable operations in the Baltics and Romania, Hili Properties taps our extensive knowledge and understanding of market dynamics, the economic landscape, the requirements of the commercial communities and the financial outlook of these territories. This market intelligence, coupled with a determination and the muscle to invest significantly, allows Hili Properties to take business decisions with a long-term vision. We are now looking to expand our footprint into neighbouring markets to those where we are currently present.”

Hili Properties sources investment opportunities through its extensive network of relationships, which includes corporate and private landlords, brokers, domestic banks and others. This allows it to have a healthy pipeline of potential acquisitions with a view to create sustainable income and strong capital returns.

Hili Ventures Chief Executive Officer Melo Hili: “Our market intelligence, coupled with a determination and the muscle to invest significantly, allows Hili Properties to take business decisions with a long-term vision.”

“Hili Properties operates a very straightforward and low risk business model,” Hili Properties Chairman Pier Luca Demajo adds. “We are an investor, not a developer, so our activity is largely centred on building relationships with tenants and communities, discussing their needs and meeting them to the best of our ability. Our property managers on the ground understand how these assets can be enhanced so that they serve their occupants – whether current or future – and the wider population in the area, better.

“There is no speculation. We work with the asset in hand and realise its full potential. This way of working has, in turn, led us to enjoy stable and high occupancy rates within buildings that have become veritable landmarks in their cities. We are very proud of what we have achieved so far and look forward to growing this portfolio with some interesting assets.”

During the first six months to June 2021, Hili Properties registered stable total revenues of €3.8 million. Thanks to its strong tenant base and its assets’ strategic position, the COVID-19 pandemic did not have a major impact on the business’ financial performance. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Hili Properties has collaborated closely with its retail and corporate tenants to support them through the challenging months through rent relief measures. Its team has worked hard to give consumers and visitors good reason to return to shopping centres and business spaces as soon as was safely possible.

Profitability between January and June 2021 improved over the preceding period thanks to improved cost management. The company’s profitability will be strengthened further thanks to its planned investments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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