Multiplan announced the results of the first quarter of 2017. Total store sales grew 6.1% and the increase in same store sales (SSS) doubled over the same period of the previous year, to 3.2%. The improved tenant mix led same area sales (SAS) to grow 5.6%, once again surpassing the SSS. The average occupancy rate rose to 97.4% in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 97.3%.
This result shows a solid start to the year. Sales of retailers demonstrated strong growth in the first quarter, particularly in March, and other operating indicators were stable despite the still uncertain macroeconomic scenario, although it is improving. After acquisitions of minority shareholdings and a private capital increase, the company's balance sheet continues to support its growth strategy.
Rental revenue grew 10.2% and shopping center expenses were lower by 3.6% in the first quarter of this year, leading the net operating income (NOI) — an important indicator of efficiency of companies in the sector — to rise by 9.5% to R$ 251.2 million, with an 88.6% margin.
The gross payment delinquency rate fell by 148 bp Y-o-Y, to 3% in the first quarter, and the net payment delinquency rate also was lower by 90 bp, reaching 2.7%.
Net profit totaled R$ 54.3 million during the period, a decrease of 22.5% compared to the first quarter of 2016, mainly due to non-cash compensation based on stock options, an increase of 17.7% in the negative financial result, due to the gross debt growth when compared to the first quarter of last year and a 15.8% increase in depreciation and amortization due to recent acquisitions.
If the stock-based compensation is excluded from the results for the first quarter of 2016 and 2017, the net profit would have grown by 6.7%, reaching R$ 80.4 million. The net margin would have been 28.9% in this quarter, compared to 27.0% in 2016, representing an increase of 181 bp.
A minority acquisition in January raised Multiplan's ownership interest in ParkShoppingBarigüi to 93.3%. Together with the other three acquisitions of stakes completed in the fourth quarter of 2016, one in Morumbi and two in BarraShopping, Multiplan added R$ 59 million of NOI.
In March 2017, Multiplan concluded a capital increase in the amount of R$ 600 million, representing 10,256,411 new shares. As a result, the Net Debt/EBITDA ratio went from 3.04x in December 2016 to 2.39x in March 2017, maintaining a comfortable space for the nearest debt covenant of 4.00x.
Multiplan's share price (MULT3 on the BM&FBOVESPA) was quoted at the end of March 2017 at R$ 66.30, 11.7% above the price at the end of December 2016. The average daily trading volume was R$ 52.4 in the first quarter, a rise of 47.0% over the same period last year, mainly due to the private capital increase, contributing to the stock's liquidity. The [average] daily number of shares traded was 813,250 in the first quarter.
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