CEO’s review

According to the Kojamo plc’s Interim report 1 January – 31 March 2024

Total revenue and net rental income as well as profit before taxes increased in the first quarter of the year. FFO decreased compared to the comparison period particularly due to the increase in financial expenses and maintenance expenses resulting from the cold winter. The fair value of the investment properties did not change significantly during the review period. Our financial position is strong, and our liquidity is good.

Our occupancy rate slightly improved from the comparison period, and tenant turnover remained at last year’s level. The usual seasonal variation was visible in renting during the winter months, and the occupancy rate was lower than at the turn of the year. The balancing of demand and supply is still in progress. Although the number of new start-ups has been exceptionally low already for a couple of years, a large number of previously started properties were completed to the market. Therefore, the supply of rental apartments is still plentiful. After the completion of the ongoing projects in the market, the decrease in housing supply is expected to begin, and no new supply will be completed to a significant extent in the next two years. This is estimated to lead to a considerable decrease in the supply of rental apartments. In the end of the review period, we had only one ongoing development project, from which 113 Lumo homes will be completed by the end of June. At the beginning of the year, we have made higher rent increases than in recent years, and as the supply will turn to decline, the possibilities for rent increases are expected to improve further.

The saving programme we started last fall is progressing according to the plan. The personnel layoffs have been realized, and we have reduced our investments substantially, limiting ourselves to the completion of previously started development projects and modernization investments as well as repairs that support renting. The past winter was cold, and there was a lot of snow which, together with the larger property portfolio, increased the maintenance expenses at the beginning of the year. In terms of administrative and marketing expenses, the savings have been realized as planned.

We successfully took the new ERP system into use during the first quarter of the year. The project was an extensive effort, and the implementation involved personnel throughout the organization for more than a year. The new system enables the further development of efficiency and processes as well as increasing the benefits of digitalization.

With the saving programme and the financial arrangements made, the loans maturing in 2024 and 2025 are covered. In January, we issued a EUR 200 million unsecured bond as a private placement. This was the first sizable euro-denominated bond issuance by a residential real estate company since 2022. In addition, at the end of March, we made secured EUR 250 million bank financing with our three relationship banks.

Jani Nieminen

Page updated 8 May 2024