Immobel, the Belgian office and residential developer, has announced it will pay dividends to shareholders amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, while identifying fixed cost savings of up to 30% in its business.
The firm is to pay €2.66 per share next month. By the end of March, Immobel secured new projects with a gross development value (GDV) of around €340 mln. Sixty-five percent of sales for 2020 are contracted at this point and permit applications are still on track, it said.
Immobel’s financial stability and strong liquidity amid current uncertainty are underpinned by its focus upon prime locations in major European cities, of which residential assets comprise 75% of a portfolio worth €4.5 bn. But Covid-19 continues to impact business activities.
Lockdown measures have hit the construction sectors in Immobel’s core markets of Belgium, France and Luxembourg, but not in Germany, where building sites have been relatively undisrupted by enforced closures.
Meanwhile, ING, the international bank, has signed a 9-year lease for one of Immobel's offices in Brussels city centre. Located on Rue-Belliard. It offers 14,200 m2, 70 parking spaces and a BREEAM-excellent rating.
Marnix Galle, executive chairman of Immobel, said he was proud of the 'strategic partnership' with ING. He continued: 'Since the start of confinement on 13 March, Immobel has taken several measures to ensure business continuity and to prioritise the health and safety of all employees and stakeholders.
'The company wishes to express its sympathy to all those who have been impacted directly by the virus and pays respect to the health workers who are delivering care under exceptionally difficult circumstances.
'Our company has a rich heritage of more than 150 years and is well positioned to handle the current COVID-19 situation. We have a healthy balance sheet and sufficient liquidity to continue our growth strategy, even in challenging times. Today, we are proud to announce a strategic transaction we have signed with ING in Brussels.'