TORONTO, March 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Slate Office REIT (TSX:SOT.UN) (the “REIT”) announced today its financial results for the three months ended December 31, 2017. Senior management is hosting a conference call at 9:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 1, 2018 to discuss the results and ongoing business initiatives of the REIT. The dial-in details can be found below.

“Heading into 2018, Slate Office REIT will explore new markets in North America, while maintaining the same discipline and investment rationale that we have applied to date,” said Scott Antoniak, the REIT’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe our strategy is transferable across markets and we continue to seek opportunities in markets where we already have a presence.”

For the CEO’s letter to unitholders for the quarter, please follow the link here.

Highlights

  • The REIT completed a total of 357,663 square feet of leasing, comprised of 288,765 square feet of renewals and 68,898 square feet of new lease deals.
  • Leasing spreads in the quarter were 7.7% above expiring rents. In-place occupancy and weighted average lease term remained relatively constant at 85.8% and 5.8 years compared to 85.9% and 5.9 years as at Q3 2017.
  • Subsequent to quarter end, the REIT completed a new 13,737 square foot 10 year lease with a security firm at rents 20.1% above previous in-place rents and renewed a 51,066 square foot seven year lease with Trader Corp. at Commerce West, at 10.7% above expiring in-place rents.
  • On November 30, 2017, the REIT completed a $13.0 million fixed rate mortgage refinancing on 114 Garry Street, maturing December 1, 2027. Concurrent with the refinancing, the building was removed from the REIT’s revolving credit facility as a secured property.
  • On February 1, 2018, the REIT renewed its revolving operating facility extending the maturity to February 1, 2021. This refinancing addresses the remaining of the REIT’s 2018 maturities.
  • On February 5, 2018, the REIT entered into a $100.0 million interest rate swap at a fixed rate of 2.55%, commencing June 29, 2018 for a five year term. This increases the REIT’s fixed rate debt by 12.6% to 44.3% at December 31, 2017 on a pro forma basis and reduces the REIT’s exposure to increased interest rates.
  • Subsequent to year end, the REIT completed the acquisition of 20 South Clark Street in downtown Chicago, Illinois, marking the REIT’s first acquisition into the United States. The REIT continues to see compelling opportunities to execute its strategy in Chicago and other markets in the United States.
  • Subsequent to year end, the REIT announced its intention to acquire seven office properties located in the Greater Toronto Area and Atlantic Canada for an aggregate purchase price of $191.4 million. This acquisition remains subject to approval by the REIT’s unitholders.
  • Net income and comprehensive income was $14.2 million for the quarter and $49.7 million for the year, a decrease of $9.4 million compared to Q3 2017 and an increase of $13.3 million compared to 2016. 
  • Rental revenue was $42.4 million for the quarter and $152.1 million for the year, an increase of $1.2 million and $29.9 million compared to Q3 2017 and Q4 2016, respectively.
  • Net operating income (“NOI”) was $68.8 million for the year, an increase of $14.8 million compared to Q4 2016.
  • Adjusted funds from operations (“AFFO”) was $9.5 million for the quarter and $39.7 million for the year, a decrease of $1.1 million compared to Q3 2017 and an increase of $5.5 million from the same period in 2016.
  • Core-FFO was $11.8 million for the quarter and $46.7 million for the year, a decrease of $1.1 million compared to Q3 2017 and increase of $6.7 million from the same period in 2016.

Summary of Q4 2017 Results

  Three months ended December 31,  
(thousands of dollars, except per unit amounts)   2017     2016   Change %  
Rental revenue $   42,380   $   35,094   20.8 %
Net operating income (“NOI”)   18,489     15,065   22.7 %
Net income and comprehensive income   14,174     14,571   (2.7 )%
                 
Same-property NOI   14,633     15,011   (2.5 )%
                 
Weighted average diluted number of trust units (000s)   62,266     46,071   35.2 %
Funds from operations (“FFO”)   11,221     10,650   5.4 %
FFO per unit   0.18     0.23   (21.7 )%
FFO payout ratio   103.9 %   81.0 % 22.9 %
Core FFO   11,782     11,177   5.4 %
Core FFO per unit   0.19     0.24   (20.8 )%
Core FFO payout ratio   99.0 %   77.2 % 21.8 %
AFFO   9,528     9,737   (2.1 )%
AFFO per unit   0.15     0.21   (28.6 )%
AFFO payout ratio   122.4 %   88.6 % 33.8 %
       
      December 31,
    2017     2016   Change %
Total assets $   1,364,854   $   1,025,522   33.1 %
Total debt   795,591     604,953   31.5 %
Portfolio occupancy (1)   85.8 %   86.4 % (0.6 )%
Loan to value ratio   58.3 %   59.1 % (0.8 )%
Net debt to adjusted EBITDA leverage   10.7x     9.3x   1.3x  
Interest coverage ratio   2.6x     3.2x   (0.6x)  
(1) Including redevelopment properties.      
       

Conference Call and Webcast

Senior management will host a live conference call at 9:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 1, 2018 to discuss the results and ongoing business initiatives of the REIT.

The conference call can be accessed by dialing (647) 427-2311 or 1 (866) 521-4909. Additionally, the conference call will be available via simultaneous audio found at http://www.snwebcastcenter.com/webcast/slate/2018/0301. A replay will be accessible until March 15, 2018 via the REIT’s website or by dialing (416) 621-4642 or 1 (800) 585-8367 (access code 6238047) approximately two hours after the live event.

About Slate Office REIT (TSX:SOT.UN)

Slate Office REIT is an open-ended real estate investment trust. The REIT’s portfolio currently comprises 38 strategic and well-located real estate assets located primarily across North America’s major population centres. The REIT is focused on maximizing value through internal organic rental and occupancy growth and strategic acquisitions.

Visit slateofficereit.com to learn more.

About Slate Asset Management L.P.

Slate Asset Management L.P. is a leading real estate investment platform with over $4.5 billion in assets under management. Slate is a value-oriented manager and a significant sponsor of all of its private and publicly-traded investment vehicles, which are tailored to the unique goals and objectives of its investors. The firm’s careful and selective investment approach creates long-term value with an emphasis on capital preservation and outsized returns. Slate is supported by exceptional people, flexible capital and a proven ability to originate and execute on a wide range of compelling investment opportunities. Visit slateam.com to learn more.

Supplemental Information

All interested parties can access Slate Office REIT’s Supplemental Information online at slateofficereit.com in the Investors section. These materials are also available on Sedar or upon request at ir@slateam.com or (416) 644-4264.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements herein may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements reflect management’s expectations regarding objectives, plans, goals, strategies, future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities of the REIT including expectations for the current financial year, and include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to management’s beliefs, plans, estimates and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Statements that contain words such as “could”, “should”, “would”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “intend”, “will”, “may”, “might” and similar expressions or statements relating to matters that are not historical facts constitute forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future events or performance and, by their nature, are based on the REIT’s current estimates and assumptions, which are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Forward- looking statements contained herein are made as the date hereof and accordingly are subject to change after such date. The REIT does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained herein except as expressly required by applicable securities laws.

Non-IFRS Measures

We disclose a number of financial measures in this news release that are not measures used under IFRS, including NOI, same-property NOI, FFO, FFO payout ratio, Core-FFO, Core-FFO payout ratio, AFFO, AFFO payout ratio, adjusted EBITDA, net debt to adjusted EBITDA and the interest coverage ratio, in addition to certain measures on a per unit basis.

  • NOI is defined as rental revenue less operating property expenses, prior to straight-line rent and other changes. Same-property NOI includes those properties owned by the REIT for each of the current period and the relevant comparative period.
  • FFO is defined as net income and comprehensive income adjusted for certain items including leasing costs amortized to revenue, change in fair value of properties, change in fair value of financial instruments, disposition costs, depreciation of hotel asset, change in fair value of Class B LP units, distributions to Class B LP unitholders and subscription receipts equivalent amount.
  • Core-FFO is defined as FFO adjusted for the REIT’s share of lease payments received for its Data Centre asset, which for IFRS purposes is accounted for as a finance lease and removes the impact of mortgage discharge fees (if any).
  • AFFO is defined as FFO adjusted for certain items including guaranteed income supplements, amortization of deferred transaction costs, de-recognition and amortization of mark-to-market adjustments on mortgages refinanced or discharged, adjustments for interest rate subsidies received, recognition of the REIT’s share of lease payments received for its Data Centre asset, which for IFRS purposes is accounted for as a finance lease, amortization of straight-line rent and normalized direct leasing and capital costs.
  • FFO payout ratio, Core-FFO payout ratio and AFFO payout ratio are defined as distributions declared divided by FFO, Core-FFO and AFFO, respectively. 
  • FFO per unit, Core-FFO per unit and AFFO per unit are defined as FFO, Core-FFO and AFFO divided by the weighted average diluted number of units outstanding, respectively.
  • Adjusted EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, fair value gains (losses) from both financial instruments and investment properties, while also excluding non-recurring items such as transaction costs from dispositions, acquisitions or other events and adjusting income received from the Data Centre to cash received as opposed to finance income recorded for accounting purposes.
  • Net debt to adjusted EBITDA is calculated by dividing the aggregate amount of debt outstanding, less cash on hand, by annualized adjusted EBITDA.
  • Interest coverage ratio is defined as adjusted EBITDA divided by cash interest paid.

We utilize these measures for a variety of reasons, including measuring performance, managing the business, capital allocation and the assessment of risk. Descriptions of why these non-IFRS measures are useful to investors and how management uses each measure are included in Management’s Discussion and Analysis, which readers should read when evaluating the measures included herein. We believe that providing these performance measures on a supplemental basis to our IFRS results is helpful to investors in assessing the overall performance of our businesses in a manner similar to management. These financial measures should not be considered as a substitute for similar financial measures calculated in accordance with IFRS. We caution readers that these non-IFRS financial measures may differ from the calculations disclosed by other businesses, and as a result, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by others.

For Further Information
Investor Relations
Tel: +1 416 644 4264
Slate Office REIT
E-mail: ir@slateam.com

Calculation and Reconciliation of Non-IFRS Measures

The tables below summarize a calculation of non-IFRS measures based on IFRS financial information. The calculation of NOI is as follows:

  Three months ended December 31,  
    2017     2016  
Rental revenue $   42,380   $   35,094  
Property operating expenses   (23,776 )   (19,404 )
Straight-line rents and other changes   (115 )   (625 )
NOI $   18,489   $   15,065  
             

The reconciliation of net income and comprehensive income to FFO, Core-FFO and AFFO is as follows:

  Three months ended December 31,  
(thousands of dollars, except per unit amounts)   2017     2016  
Net income and comprehensive income $   14,174   $   14,571  
Add (deduct):        
Leasing costs amortized to revenue   784     159  
Change in fair value of properties   (5,218 )   (1,022 )
Change in fair value of financial instruments   (253 )   (1,564 )
Disposition costs       101  
Depreciation of hotel asset   215     162  
Change in fair value of Class B LP units   528     (2,748 )
Distributions to Class B unitholders   991     991  
FFO (1)   11,221     10,650  
Finance income on finance lease receivable   (964 )   (998 )
Finance lease payments received   1,525     1,525  
Core-FFO (1)   11,782     11,177  
Amortization of deferred transaction costs   508     304  
Amortization of debt mark-to-market adjustments   (151 )   (127 )
Amortization of straight-line rent   (899 )   (784 )
Interest rate subsidy   108     108  
Guaranteed income supplements   40     628  
Normalized direct leasing and capital costs   (1,860 )   (1,569 )
AFFO (1) $   9,528   $   9,737  
 

Weighted average number of diluted units outstanding (000s)

   

62,266

     

46,071

 
FFO per unit (1) $   0.18   $   0.23  
Core-FFO per unit (1)   0.19     0.24  
AFFO per unit (1) $   0.15   $   0.21  
FFO payout ratio (1)   103.9 %   81.0 %
Core-FFO payout ratio (1)   99.0 %   77.2 %
AFFO payout ratio (1)   122.4 %   88.6 %
(1) Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” section above.        
         

The reconciliation of cash flow from operating activities to FFO, Core-FFO and AFFO is as follows:

  Three months ended December 31,  
    2017     2016  
Cash flow from operating activities   19,642     15,322  
Add (deduct):            
Leasing costs amortized to revenue   784     159  
Disposition costs       101  
Subscription receipts equivalent amount (1)        
Working capital items   (9,954 )   (6,371 )
Straight-line rent and other changes   115     625  
Interest and other finance costs   (7,374 )   (5,143 )
Interest paid   7,017     4,966  
Distributions paid to Class B unitholders   991     991  
FFO(1) $   11,221   $ 10,650  
Finance income on finance lease receivable   (964 )   (998
Finance lease payments received   1,525     1,525  
Core-FFO(1) $ 11,782   $ 11,177  
Amortization of deferred transaction costs   508     304  
Amortization of debt mark-to-market adjustments   (151 )   (127 )
Amortization of straight-line rent   (899 )   (784 )
Interest rate subsidy   108     108  
Guaranteed income supplements   40     628  
Normalized direct leasing and capital costs   (1,860 )   (1,569 )
AFFO (1) $ 9,528   $ 9,737  
(1) Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” section above.  
   
The calculation of adjusted EBITDA is as follows:  
   
  Three months ended December 31,  
    2017     2016  
Net income and comprehensive income   14,174     14,571  
Finance income and finance lease receivable   (964 )   (998 )
Net operating income from the Data Centre   1,525     1,524  
Interest income   (32 )   (21 )
Interest and finance costs   7,374     5,143  
Change in fair value of properties   (5,218 )   (1,022 )
Change in fair value of financial instruments   (253 )   (1,564 )
Disposition costs       101  
Depreciation of hotel asset   215     162  
Change in fair value of Class B LP units   528     (2,748 )
Distributions to Class B LP unitholders   991     991  
Adjusted EBITDA (1)   18,340     16,139  
(1) Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” section above.    
     

The calculation of net debt is as follows:

Three months ended December 31,
  2017 2016
Debt, non-current 612,738 462,644
Debt, current 182,853 142,309
Debt 795,591 604,953
Less: cash on hand 9,153 4,252
Net debt 786,438 600,701
     
The calculation of net debt to adjusted EBITDA is as follows:    
     
Three months ended December 31,
  2017 2016
Net debt 786,438 600,701
Adjusted EBITDA (2) 73,360 64,556
Net debt to Adjusted EBITDA (1) 10.7x 9.3x
(1) Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” section above.
(2) Adjusted EBITDA for the three months is based on actuals annualized, using the following formula: (Adjusted EBITDA for period / No. quarters in period x 4).
   
     

The interest coverage ratio is calculated as follows:

   Three months ended December 31,
  2017 2016
Adjusted EBITDA 18,340 16,139
Cash interest paid 7,017 4,966
Interest coverage ratio (1) 2.6x 3.2x
(1) Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” section above.