* 2013/14 net profit up 63 pct to 180.4 mln euros
* Says can't yet gauge impact of Russia-Ukraine crisis
* Targets 2014/15 dividend payout of 0.15-0.20 eur/share
(Adds quotes and background)
VIENNA, Aug 1 Austrian real estate firm
Immofinanz forecast its core markets would develop
positively this fiscal year as economies improve but said
question marks remained over its key Russian market given the
political stand-off with the West over Ukraine.
"The effects of this crisis on the commercial development of
Immofinanz group's target markets, above all Russia, cannot be
estimated at the present time," it said on Friday, adding
2013/14 net profit rose 63 percent to 180.4 million euros ($242
Chief Executive Eduard Zehetner said Russia could prosper as
well, assuming the crisis did not escalate "and long-term
negative effects on the purchasing power of the population can
Immofinanz now depends on its five Russian shopping centres
in the Moscow region for about a third of its rental income
following the spin-off of Buwog, its German and Austrian
residential property unit, at the end of April.
"The rental income from the Russian portfolio is generally
coupled to the euro or U.S. dollar, but an ongoing decline in
the ruble would have a negative effect on tenants' cost
structures," it said in a statement.
"As indicated in the report on the first three quarters of
2013/14, short-term arrangements were concluded with a number of
tenants in the Moscow shopping centres to reduce the
currency-related pressure. This also proved to be a sustainable
procedure during the 2008/09 financial crisis," it said.
Immofinanz proposed no dividend for the fiscal year that
ended in April, as flagged during the Buwog spin-off.
"The dividend payment should be resumed starting with the
current financial year. From the present point of view, a
distribution of 0.15 to 0.20 euro per share is targeted for
2014/15, whereby a combination of dividend and share buyback
programme is possible," it said.
The hit from revaluations adjusted for foreign exchange
effects widened to 178 million euros from 31 million, above all
due to its Russian property portfolio. "These results reflect
the political unrest in Ukraine and the previously imposed as
well as potential sanctions against Russia," it said.
Zehetner, who had long said he would retire after completing
the separation of Buwog from the rest of the company, is handing
over to Oliver Schumy, an eastern Europe expert from cardboard
box maker Mayr-Melnhof, next May.
Immofinanz shares have fallen 13 percent this year to date,
compared with an 11 percent increase in the European real-estate
index, partly due to the Buwog spin-off but mainly
because of concerns about its Russian exposure.
The shares trade at 12 times forward earnings, below
Austrian peers Conwert and CA Immo, which
trade at 26 and 22 times forward earnings respectively,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
($1 = 0.7442 Euros)
(Reporting by Michael Shields and Georgina Prodhan; Editing by
David Evans and Mark Potter)