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Edited Transcript of CCPR3.SA earnings conference call or presentation 8-May-20 1:30pm GMT

Q1 2020 Cyrela Commercial Properties SA Empreendimentos e Participacoes Earnings Call

São Paulo May 30, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Cyrela Commercial Properties SA Empreendimentos e Participacoes earnings conference call or presentation Friday, May 8, 2020 at 1:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos

Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers

* Thiago Kiyoshi Vieira Muramatsu

Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - Chief Financial & IR Officer and Member of Board of Executive Officers

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Conference Call Participants

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* Alex Ferraz

Itaú Corretora de Valores S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst

* Jorel Guilloty

Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for waiting. Welcome to CCP's First Quarter 2020 Earnings Release Conference Call. The audio and the slides of this conference are being streamed online on CCP's International Relations website at www.ccpsa.com.br/ri. (Operator Instructions)

Before proceeding, let me mention that this conference call may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the results to differ materially from those expressed herein. Such forward-looking statements express an opinion on the date they are made only, and CCP is not obligated to update it in light of any new information.

Today with us, we have Mr. Pedro Daltro, CEO; and Thiago Muramatsu, CFO and Investors Relations Director. Mr. Pedro, you now have the floor.

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Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers [2]

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Good morning, everyone. Thank you for your presence in our earnings release conference call for the first quarter of 2020. This conference call is going to be a bit different because we will have to talk about our results as well as COVID-19 effects. So let me start with Slide #1, which I believe is the most important slide in today's presentation. The rest of the slides will focus on the results of our first quarter. And as we all know, the whole of humankind has suffered a lot starting at the end of March because of the pandemics of the coronavirus. But anyway, let's just start with Slide #1.

These are CCP's initiatives implemented during this period of time. We have been concerned with the health of our employees and customers alike. As soon as the pandemic started, we launched a campaign to donate food staples baskets in the neighborhoods around our shopping malls. We started using the social media of our portfolios to promote guidelines on public health. And also aiming to promote entertainment to our customers, we started organizing music lives and children's games. We also registered the store owners on the ON Stores platform. We had already hired employees to our team. And during this period of time, we saw that many store owners were interested in going online. As we said last year, we made investments in this area. The last quarter of 2019 and this first quarter of 2020 was a period of integration of these online platform, and the results have been positive so far. Three of our shopping malls have been using delivery services, and we've had like 300% growth in this area compared to last year.

We have purchased COVID testing kits for all employees of all of our developments. And we have also purchased 80,000 disposable masks for customers and another 5,000 textile masks for CCP's team, so that we can all go back to normal when this pandemic is over wearing masks.

We have also been helping cities by providing COVID test kits. We were part of a vaccination campaign in Santo André, and we're using our shopping malls' parking lots for those campaigns, helping people to get tested for COVID-19. All of our buildings and shopping malls have hand sanitizers available. We have put dispensers in all of our properties, so that we can feel safer when we come back from this pandemic. And we're also concerned with third-party personnel. So we have been providing booklets on good behavioral practices to all of them. We have signed a manifest called #nãodemita, which means no layoffs, with over 200 companies trying to help third parties to keep their labor employed because we know how important this is to society. And we have been able to temporarily reduce the condominium cost of shopping malls and buildings because we know they're going through a hard time, and we are not collecting the promotion fund from store owners, and we have also postponed the payment of rent of stores in our shopping malls. So this is something that we have been doing since mid-March but the effects will be felt even more in the second quarter.

In Slide #2, let's start talking about the achievements of our first quarter. In the end of last quarter, we saw that the price of shares in the capital market was not reflecting what we believed was a fair price for our shares. So we launched a share buyback program of about 5 billion common shares. We have achieved already 2/3 of this amount. And because of our cash position, we can get up to 10% of this amount. We decided to start with 3% because we are concerned about the effects of the pandemics and our cash flow. But this amount can get up to 10% if the pandemic lasts for a very long time or if there is more liquidity.

Now we also acquired the 17th floor of Faria Lima Financial Center. We had a partner in that building but we were already majority shareholders. We invested another BRL 43 million, about [BRL 29 million] per square meters. This is our iconic building, the best location on Faria Lima Avenue, so we were happy about this acquisition.

Now another very important point was a transaction that had started in the last quarter of last year. Our CCP team, as a whole, worked really hard to implement a strategy that looking back, we see that it's going to help us greatly during this public health crisis. Starting in the end of last year and throughout the first quarter of this year, we made a decision, which had been discussed already in our roadshow meetings, which was to reduce cost and reschedule our debt payments.

So we decided to affect our FFO and cash generation of the first quarter in order to postpone the due dates of our debt. So that is something that is involving about BRL 600 million in debt. Thiago is going to talk about that later on but you'll see that this has released the pressure on CCP's cash flow. And now there has been a drop in [sell-in] rates, and this is going to be of great help.

So if we look at cash generation and FFO of the first quarter only, could think that it would be best to use this money for repayment of debt because debts are more expensive than financial investment. And that's why we prioritize cash flow. But unfortunately, this coronavirus pandemic [installed] and it affected the first quarter FFO a little bit, but we don't regret what we made.

The leasing spread in the first quarter was quite robust. Vacancy rate dropped significantly in the Faria Lima area. This is actually almost a low record. The vacancy in that area is around 4% to 5% now, which is considered just the technical vacancy of someone moving from one location to another. But finding space there was quite hard in that area. That's why our leasing spread was 21.6%.

Now let's talk about financial and physical occupancy. With -- we have 2 different key scenarios here: One with the Birmann acquisition and one without the Birmann acquisition. After you acquire a property, it takes about a year for you to lease it and Birmann was acquired without any of the spaces leased. And now over 50% of that building is already leased. So we closed the first quarter without Birmann with 95.4% of occupancy.

Physical occupancy is a bit different because vacant areas have a lower price per square footage. So the vacancy has a smaller impact on the cash flow. We had been talking about leasing, the coronavirus spaces -- the Birmann spaces, but because of the coronavirus, we had to postpone those stocks.

Now on the next slide, you can see same-store sales. We have 2 different scenarios here as well, just so you can understand how hard it's been to deal with this market starting in March. On the case of shopping malls, actually, the whole of March was impacted because we started having the first cases of coronaviruses in Brazil. And so shopping mall flows dropped in the beginning of March and so did their sales. So just for curiosity here, you can see same-store sales by quarter. We closed the quarter at minus 13.2% against the first quarter of 2019, which was up 4.4%. So in the beginning of 2020, we were running at around 4%; IPCA was around 3%. So we had actual gains over inflation in same-store sales in the first months of 2020. And the Carnival festivities in Brazil happened in February this year, which also affects the sales and even so, same-store sales were going up before the pandemic. Same-store rent also grew 5.5% in the first quarter 2020 compared to the first -- 4.2% in the first quarter 2019, so we're doing well before the pandemic.

In the next slide, you can also see that the coronavirus has affected us. The first quarter of 2019, our sales was about BRL 740 million in all malls. And we closed the first quarter of 2020 at BRL 659 million. So there has been a decrease compared to the first quarter of 2019. If we look at only the last 2 months, we were growing at twice the inflation rate for the period. However, we've had the coronavirus pandemic, and so the negative impact hit us. We had been growing well in malls and sales. But then in the end of the quarter, we had a dramatic reduction. It was indeed something that demanded us to work and implement more efforts here to fight this.

Now in terms of parking lot flow, the conditions are similar to same-store sales. Parking lot flow dropped from 2.8 million to 2.5 million cars compared to the first quarter of 2019 but we were expecting it to grow by 4.4%, so we had been growing well before the pandemic.

Now leasing revenues in the next slide. As you can see, our leasing spread achieved 21.6%. As I said previously, office revenues, quarter-after-quarter, grew 41.8%. And of course, the JK Towers affect this. But excluding JK Towers, even so our office leasing revenues, especially in the AAA segment, would have been 30% above the first quarter of 2019.

Now I'd like to give the floor to Thiago, and I'll come back later for our Q&A session.

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Thiago Kiyoshi Vieira Muramatsu, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - Chief Financial & IR Officer and Member of Board of Executive Officers [3]

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Good morning. Thank you all for your presence today at our conference call. Let's go to Slide #12 now. On the right-hand side, you can see our leasing revenue growing by 19.5%, as Pedro said, and we also had a net revenue increase of 15.7%. Our net revenue did not grow as much as the leasing revenue because of the impact on our parking lot revenue due to the closing of our shopping malls. So considering that impact, our net revenue grew a bit less than our leasing revenue, which is pretty much then at the same level now as our parking lot net revenue of last year. NOI, in spite of the parking lot flow reduction, we still had a good growth in NOI, a growth of 20%. And that's mainly due to the growth of our office line and the acquisition of the JK Towers. Our adjusted EBITDA got to almost BRL 91 billion, so a 17% growth compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Now on Slide #14, you can see our net profit and the adjusted FFO in the IFRS perspective and in the pro forma perspective as well. That excludes the minority shareholders. So looking at CCP's position, excluding the minority shareholders' participation, we had a net profit of BRL 16.5 million and the adjusted FFO, if we exclude the depreciation effect, went from 13.4% to 28 -- I'm sorry, to BRL 21.8 million. So our adjusted FFO almost doubled when compared to the first quarter of 2019. So a growth of 76%.

Now financial expenses. We had a 10.5% reduction compared to the first quarter of 2019. We had to renegotiate some things in the first quarter of 2020. So considering the new negotiations and the current level of the interest rates, we would expect a lower financial expense level in the next quarters.

Now let's talk about our debt position and our liquidity. As Pedro said, we have been able to conclude our follow on in October last year. Our cash flow position is quite comfortable right now for us to go through this moment of stability. We closed the quarter with a good cash flow, with a net debt of BRL 1.1 million, a total net debt over EBITDA leverage was of 3.4% -- 3.4x.

Now you can see here our amortization schedule till the end of the year. We have BRL 70 million in amortization because one of our debt has been postponed for payments in 2025, 2026 and 2027. Another debt that was supposed to be paid this year is now going to be due in 2026 and 2027. So considering 2020 and 2021 together, we have a total of BRL 200 million for amortization, and our cash flow position is of BRL 820 million, which makes us feel very comfortable in this moment until we can understand what the total effects of the pandemic will be.

So this concludes my part of the presentation.

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Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers [4]

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Well, I'd like to add something here, Thiago. Our decision for the share buyback program was made based on a great work of our team to postpone the payment of our debt. This has put us in a very comfortable position. So when the capital market was hugely hit by the pandemic, we were in a comfortable position. We have done this buyback program up to 3% so far, but we can expand that. And if you ask me what the most important actions, specifically, in the first quarter were, I would say they were the office leasing spread, which were amazing. A 20% growth in a quarter like this is extremely positive.

And the work we did to postpone the repayment of debt. And that was a decision we made not based on the coronavirus pandemic. It was just that at the time, we did not know about the pandemic yet, but the cost to postpone the repayment was very low, and the negative effect from the FFO would be very little. So we thought it was worth doing it in the long term. And that has put us in a privileged position to go through this very difficult scenario we're going through right now all around the world.

So I'd like to emphasize the importance of the work we have done in postponing the repayment of debt. If you look at our conversations last year, you will see that we were already focusing on that. Today, most of our debt is linked to CDI. What is IPCA? Well, that was a transaction we did for 10 years bullet. Now it is 8.5 years bullet.

And so in the first quarter, I would say we have implemented many social actions to help the communities around us. And we have been doing everything we can to protect both our employees and our customers from COVID-19. We had almost 300% growth in deliveries in April. So we've been focusing on that and reinforcing our ON Store platform as well for online sales. We have not suspended dividends, and we did this share buyback program.

So in the end of the day, the decisions that were made at CCP are meant to keep payments to shareholders and that enabled CCP to help store owners by providing them with discounts, exemptions, the promotional funds and it has helped them to keep the jobs of their employees. So although we're going through a very difficult scenario, I believe the actions we implemented are mitigating the effects of the pandemic. So I'd like to praise our team, especially the financial team, for the very good work they have been doing.

Now I'd like to open for questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) Our first question is by Jorel Guilloty by Morgan Stanley.

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Jorel Guilloty, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst [2]

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I have 2 questions about rent. So if we look at the shopping malls, [center sales] has dropped 13%, but there were discounts in March. So how have you been defining your discount policy to store owners during this lockdown period? And how have you been dealing with these discounts for accounting purposes?

Now another question about the offices. In 2020, about 50% of the office rents are in market to market. What are the trends for the year considering the current scenario?

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Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers [3]

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Okay. I'll start by answering your second question. And then Thiago will answer your first question, okay?

Thank you for your question. Yes, we have a lot of revisional this year. Because of the recession we're going through, there will be an impact on our ability to provide revisional amount. I can't define exactly how much that will be because I don't know how much that would be. It's quite a difficult scenario to define this but I think that the numbers will drop because of this recession, and because CCP's strategy has always been to prioritize occupancy. That is something really important for a company like ours, even more important than price. So I believe we're going to have an intense year with default rates. But the default rates in office rents was very low in the first quarter, around 2%. We've been able to recover part of it after the end of the quarter as well, so insignificant default rates. But our ability to increase prices has been substantially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the recession it's going to cause in the next 2 quarters as well.

I hope that starting in the fourth quarter of 2020, this will change. But in the next 2 quarters, I don't think we are going to achieve 22% level of price rent adjustments. Now Thiago?

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Thiago Kiyoshi Vieira Muramatsu, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - Chief Financial & IR Officer and Member of Board of Executive Officers [4]

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Okay. Now about your first question, you asked how we were going to deal with March and April rent. So in March, we have given a 50% discount on the leasing amount because that's the period of time that the shopping malls were closed. And the condominium costs in April were also reduced. Now we have estimated the total amount of discounts we believe will be given and how we're going to be dealing with that for accounting purposes. We're going to do linearization of the discount. For March, the impact will be of around BRL 300 million, not more than that. Now May revenue for -- relating to the month of April, which was closed, we're going to give discounts for the leasing amount, which is also linked, independent on the payment of the condominium costs. So that will be comparable to the March numbers.

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Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers [5]

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Okay. I'd like to emphasize something to all investors in this call. More than ever, we recommend that the investors read the whole earnings release and our explanation, especially starting in the second quarter, because there will be a lot of information in our explanations and in our releases. We are going to talk about how we're going to do the accounting, the linearization and so on and so forth.

In the first quarter, the effects of that are not very great. But starting in the second quarter, that will be very important. And not only for CCP but for all companies. So please, do pay attention to all of our explanations and releases starting in the second quarter of this year.

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Operator [6]

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Our next question is by Alex Ferraz from Itaú BBA.

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Alex Ferraz, Itaú Corretora de Valores S.A., Research Division - Research Analyst [7]

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I have 2 questions. The first is about your recent acquisition of the JK Towers. I don't know if you've mentioned this, but the asset had a relevant renewal rate, and Amazon is one of the customers there, which is doing well right now, right? So when it comes to this specific asset, do you have any predictions and forecasts about the spread? Or is it still too early to talk about that?

Now [JV CPIB], considering the exchange rates we have right now and the interest rate, I think the levels of that are going to be kept for a long time. (inaudible) is usually in U.S. dollars, so is this going to affect your M&A initiatives? Or you also think it's hard to assess this right now?

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Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers [8]

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Okay. Let me start by talking about JK Towers. Part of the 21.6% you saw includes some renegotiations in JK Towers. But I think that the same thing applies to the whole portfolio. Our ability to raise within our rent prices will be significantly affected in the next 2 quarters at least. I think that the whole world is going through a recession. Brazil is definitely going through a recession. So the GDPs are going to be affected. We don't know exactly how much, what the percentage will be but this will have an impact.

Now the silver lining, there were a few things that we had not accounted for that are actually helping us. Our funding has been better than previously estimated. We have been financing or renegotiating our terms. The face amount is going to start to be paid in the third year only after acquisition. And the interest rates, I think, is about 1.13 -- 1.30 -- 1.3, 1.3. So we have decreased the spread and postponed the repayment of debt. So from the cash flow perspective, we might not be able to raise rent prices as much as we would like to. Though we did raise the rent in the first quarter, but we did not have high default rates, and the internal return rates were actually better than expected.

So if the economy comes back to normal in the last quarter and interest rates continue low, in 1 year's time, when we have the same call, and if you ask me the same question, there's a great likelihood I will tell you, "Well, this property has generated more cash flow than expected for the first year of operations." Of course, that will depend on the depth of the recession and on other factors. But I'd say the scenario there is not bad. It's not the one we expected, of course. But in January and February, it was doing much better than expected. And then March, we did not discuss rent very much because the coronavirus pandemic started, and we had been talking about price adjustments but all those discussions were halted because then the priority became the health of the population, of our employees and our customers. So in the next 2 quarters, I think that we will not have the same leasing spread there for the JK Towers but the capital cost there will be much lower and with better cash flow conditions than we expected.

The CCPIB, well, I don't know about that. I haven't been talking about that global strategy with them. But in a simplistic analysis -- well, I cannot speak for them, but what we believe is that this debt has been performing better than expected in Brazilian reais, much better than expected, actually. And it hasn't been as hardly infected by the coronavirus pandemic as other countries around the globe. But the capital allocation would be larger in Brazilian reais. There's no doubt about that.

There's something here about price. Now leaving aside CCPIB and talking about CCP only, I would not invest our capital in that today, and I would not recommend them to invest their capital. In prices we saw before the coronavirus pandemic. So yes, the amount to be invested has grown, but if this is not reflected in prices, we're not going to act. We think it is impossible to know when this is going to end and we have to analyze risk and return if our potential sellers -- I mean the potential sellers might have given up right now because of the exchange rates but they will come back. And if this is not reflected in prices, I'd say it's unlikely that CCP will try and make any acquisitions.

So our recommendation is that we wait a little bit to see how things unfold.

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Operator [9]

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(Operator Instructions) Well if there are no further questions, I'd like to give the floor to Mr. Pedro Daltro for his final consideration.

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Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers [10]

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Thank you very much for your time today. This has been an important conference call because we're going through difficult times, something unprecedented, so you might have many questions to which we don't have answers yet because we are still in the midst of this [storm] and our visibility is still low. We can see 1 or 2 months ahead only at this point in time, not much more than that.

But I think that we've been dealing with the storm in the best possible way. We are at a very robust cash flow position. Our capital structure is well fit to face the storm. Our assets are very high quality, on average. And we were at a good shopping mall scenario before the pandemic, and it was actually exceptional when it came to offices. So we got into the storm at a much higher activity level than other countries did. And that gives us a certain reassurance to make more assertive decisions. And when this is over, I think we're going to be in an extremely good position to make the most of all the opportunities that may arise. We cannot say when this recovery will come. But whenever it comes, we are going to be better positioned than most other companies here in Brazil.

So I'd like to conclude by thanking the CCP team for the exceptional work they have done during the pandemic. I'm very proud to be a part of this team because it's been difficult times. At the end of March and beginning of April as you can imagine, we worked really hard to try and understand how things would work in the pandemic, and the team did really well. And it's during times of crisis that you see high-performance teams. When the river is full, everyone can swim. But when a drought comes, that's when you see those who were better prepared. And thanks to the great work of our team, we have been able to get into the storm in an excellent position. The scenario is really bad but our airplane is very well positioned to go through the storm. And when the storm is over we will continue on cruise speed.

So if you have any further questions just get in touch with us later. And thank you very much for your attention today.

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Operator [11]

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We have a question by Bruno from XP Investimentos.

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Unidentified Analyst, [12]

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I apologize for asking a question after the closing remarks, but It's about the shopping malls. You said that you have given discounts on the condominium piece, how much was that? And is this because the malls are closed? Or are you going to charge this amount in the next quarters?

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Pedro Marcio Daltro dos Santos, Cyrela Commercial Properties S.A. - CEO & Member of Board of Executive Officers [13]

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Well, hello, Bruna. We have had a reduction of about 50% on the condominium fees. Most of them will be taken from our expenses in condominiums, which have also been reduced because of the low usage. So for example, power bills, water bills, our utility bills are cheaper. We have also reorganized our employees and third-party personnel, like security and cleaning. So we reduced the scope there to be able to reduce the condominium fees. And we also made the most of the initiatives by the Ministry of the Economy to postpone payment of FGTS and reducing the work hours of the -- of our personnel as defined by the Ministry of the Economy.

Once the malls open again, then that will depend on the speed of recovery. We might start working again with reduced hours. But once the mall goes back to full-time functioning, the cost of the condominium will probably go back to the previous level. We have been working to reduce condominium costs in our buildings and shopping malls. Ever since 2016, you'll see that we have had actual reductions in the condominium cost of all of our developments, all of our properties. So we had already analyzed the opportunities to reduce those costs. And during this time, we renegotiated some agreements to reduce those fees even further. And because of the utility bills that are -- the costs are lower now because of the usage, we've been able to do that.

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Operator [14]

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I would like to thank you. Okay. This concludes CCP's conference call. Thank you all for your participation, and have a great day.