U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 11 mins

Edited Transcript of PCT.NZ earnings conference call or presentation 15-Aug-19 10:00pm GMT

Full Year 2019 Precinct Properties New Zealand Ltd Earnings Call

- Aug 26, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Precinct Properties New Zealand Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 10:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

================================================================================

Corporate Participants

================================================================================

* George Crawford

Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - COO

* Richard Hilder

Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO

* Scott Pritchard

Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO

================================================================================

Conference Call Participants

================================================================================

* Angus Simpson

ANZ Investment Services (New Zealand) Limited - Equity Analyst

* Jeremy Andrew Simpson

Forsyth Barr Group Ltd., Research Division - Director & Senior Analyst of New Zealand Equities

* Nick Mar

Macquarie Research - Analyst

* Victoria Young;BusinessDesk

================================================================================

Presentation

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Precinct Properties Full Year Results 2019 Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) Please be advised that today's conference is being recorded.

I would now like to hand the conference over to your first speaker today, Mr. Scott Pritchard. Thank you. Please go ahead.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Edison, and good morning, everyone, and welcome to the 2019 annual result briefing of Precinct Properties. I'm joined today by George Crawford, Precinct's Chief Operating Officer; and Richard Hilder, Precinct's Chief Financial Officer.

The 2019 financial year has continued to produce great results for the business. We have enhanced the portfolio with the addition of H&M at Commercial Bay and our Bowen Campus assets. We have sold assets to recycle capital. We have progressed our developments. We have raised equity and sourced nonbank debt to strengthen the balance sheet. And most importantly, we have grown earnings and dividends for our shareholders.

The program for today's call is outlined on Page 2 of the presentation. I will shortly provide an overview of the highlights of the result before touching on some major things in reviewing Precinct's progress relative to our strategy. I will also provide some insights into the strength of our 2 city center markets and then hand over to Richard, who will cover off the financial result before George provides an overview of our operational performance. Following that, I will provide an update on our development activity, and as usual, we will be delighted to answer any [calls] that you have at the conclusion of the call.

Moving to the highlights page. This year, as outlined on this page, there are a number of highlights for the business. We have recorded solid growth in our operating earnings of 3.7%. We have recorded a revaluation gain of $162 million, which has led to our NAV per share increasing to $1.49, an increase of over 6%.

Perhaps most pleasingly, we are continuing to drive meaningful growth in our earnings per share, with a 4.7% lift on a preperformance fee basis, at the same time as transforming the portfolio into higher-quality assets.

In addition to the financial result, we have been actively managing our capital. We have completed a $152 million equity raise and secured around $160 million in nonbank debt through a USPP issue.

We completed the sales of $191 million of assets in the period and post balance date, have entered into a conditional sale of Pastoral House for $77 million. These sales, along with our capital management initiatives, have strengthened our balance sheet and reduced our gearing to around 20%.

Pleasingly, we continue to see real strength in demand for our portfolio of assets, with 99% occupancy and a 9-year WALT. We're achieving strong and continued growth from our portfolio, with 3.9% growth in like-for-like property income. The 100% acquisition of Generator places our business as the leading flex space provider in the Auckland city center, and we are excited about what this opportunity offers the Precinct business.

And finally, Commercial Bay leasing has advanced in the period, and we're delighted to complete the Bowen Campus project, while commencing and advancing Wynyard Quarter Stage Two.

Turning to Page 4 and major themes. Similar to last year, we wanted to provide an overview of the major drivers of our business in the markets we're operating in, firstly, our long-held view that city centers will continue to outperform. Underpinned by a growing resident population and a higher relative contribution to New Zealand's GDP, Auckland is New Zealand's major gateway city, attracting more people to work, live and play. While Wellington remains as New Zealand's capital city and is underpinned by Crown employees, Precinct continues to see Auckland as New Zealand's high-growth city, offering significant opportunities as it evolves to meet the demands of greater Auckland.

Secondly, and as outlined in more detail shortly, we have seen Auckland's working-age population continue to grow, particularly in the city center. We have, as a business, monitored the growth and trends in the number of city center workers for a number of years and believe it provides a very good proxy for city center office demand.

Thirdly, consistent with last year, the challenges that we are all seeing in the construction market are driving considerable increases in the replacement costs of assets. We expect that this will continue to underpin market values and importantly, limit supply.

And finally, activity levels in Auckland will continue to remain elevated. We acknowledge that business confidence is lower, but we continue to observe demand for our space from businesses that are both growing and also trading up in the quality of the office accommodation.

Turning to Page 5. Our strategy has been well published over the past 8 years as we have reviewed, refined and adjusted our strategy as we have progressed. Page 5 sets out the key moves the business has made in order to position it as it is today. Importantly, the decisions we made in 2011 and the drivers of those decisions remain as valid today as they did in 2011 with regard to a higher-quality portfolio, a targeted increase in our cash earnings and a more active business, focused on meeting the changing needs of its occupier base.

Looking forward, we're excited to continue to develop our pipeline of development opportunities, growing our market position in the flex space and coworking market and looking to secure future opportunities to grow value for shareholders.

Last year, we articulated our refined strategy which was summarized into 3 distinct pillars, comprising empowering people, operational excellence and developing the future. Page 6 outlines the progress made on our 3 pillars.

Firstly, we continue to invest heavily in our team and the culture of the business. With the addition of the Generator business, our staff numbers have increased significantly, and we remain committed to providing an outstanding work environment for our team. Focusing on career advancement and job enrichment remains an ongoing area of attention. Pleasingly, our annual survey to staff engagement continue to show high levels of engagement, and our clients also continue to value the role that we play as a provider of workspace.

Secondly, we continue to measure the improvements of our operational performance. The table on the top right-hand side details the improvements across our key criteria. Often lost amongst our metrics, we remain very satisfied with a weighted average lease term of 9 years across our portfolio, an outstanding outcome.

Our development portfolio has further advanced in the period with the completion of Bowen Campus and the advancement of Commercial Bay in Wynyard Quarter Stage Two.

Now turning to Page 7. Supporting our strategy are our markets, and the Auckland CBD continues to produce strong economic growth on the back of increased population and increased activity levels. As outlined in the chart on the top right, the Auckland region continues to outperform New Zealand's GDP, while the Auckland city center GDP continues to outperform that of the Auckland region. Most notably in the period, we have seen a significant increase in the number of workers in Auckland CBD, with 7,800 more workers in Auckland city center. Of those, 4,700 workers are office workers, providing a strong catalyst for positive absorption. These additional workers over the past 12 months demand a further 70,000 square meters of office space.

Page 8 provides an overview of the Wellington market. Wellington continues to be supported by the government, with considerable growth in the number of Crown employees, driving increased demand for city center office space. Our expectations are that increased activity levels within central government will continue to place upward pressure on the number of Crown employees, which will be supportive for office markets in Wellington.

I'd now like to hand over to Richard to take you through the financial result.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you, and good morning, everyone. As mentioned by Scott, it has been another good year for Precinct, with total comprehensive income after tax of $190 million. Net property income, once adjusted for developments and transactions, was 3.9% higher than the previous year, and this helped increase net operating income by 3.7%. Adjusting for performance fees, earnings were in line with guidance at $0.0662 per share.

As noted at the past interim results, tax expense was expected to be low given the amount of activity occurring within the portfolio. The low expense was due to a higher level of leasing fees, the disposal of depreciable assets and deductible CapEx.

It is pleasing to see operating performance or funds from operations grow. However, we continue to focus on adjusted funds from operations. AFFO provides a better measure of funds available for distribution, and this grew by 7.1% or 3.9% per weighted security. The 2019 dividend of $0.06 per share was 3.4% higher than the previous year and reflected an AFFO payout ratio of around 100%.

Following the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Generator, we now have full control and have consolidated the business into our financial accounts. Since acquisition in February, Generator has formed part of operating income.

Business performance continues to improve, and George will discuss this in more detail, including its outlook later in the presentation.

Slide 11 provides a breakdown of net property income. The completion of Bowen Campus and H&M building in the period helped offset the impact of selling a 50% interest in the ANZ Centre and the foregone income associated with the Wellington government assets. On a like-for-like basis, Auckland net property income was 6% higher, while Wellington income was broadly flat. The strong growth in Auckland reflects rental reversion, but also a strong occupier market and demand for quality space.

In Wellington, net property income was impacted by foregone income associated with floors being developed at AON Centre and Dimension Data House.

With insurance being a key contributor to net income growth in the capital, we were very pleased to keep insurance broadly unchanged for FY '20. This outcome, combined with low vacancy and a solid occupier market, should help deliver net income growth in the coming years.

Turning to Slide 12. The revaluation gain of around $162 million reflects a 6% increase on year-end book values and is evenly split between investment revaluations and development profit recognition. The gain was also evenly split between cap rate compression and market rental growth. Over the 12 months, cap rates in Auckland fell by around 20 basis points, while in Wellington, cap rates compressed by 15.

Both cities also benefited from low vacancy levels in a supportive occupier market, which resulted in market rents increasing by around 5%. The portfolio value now totals $2.8 billion, with Precinct's NAV per share at balance date increasing to $1.49. The revaluation gain contributed to the lift in NAV. However, this was partly offset by a loss in financial instruments.

Turning to the next slide. Our approach to capital management remains proactive, and we remain focused on initiatives that support our strategy. In the period, we raised $152 million of new equity at a premium to NTA and sold $190 million of assets. Because of these initiatives, net borrowings and gearing levels fell in the period. As at June, gearing, which excludes the convertible note, was 22%, well below our banking covenant of 50%.

As mentioned by Scott, post balance date, we have also announced the conditional sale of Pastoral House in Wellington. This sale will provide further funding capacity and reduce our committed gearing to around [30%].

In addition to these initiatives, we recently undertook our second U.S. private placement. The issuance comprised 2 tranches, totaling $162 million. This transaction demonstrates the strong demand from U.S. investors and shows investor confidence in the quality of our business. The private placement has added funding diversity, with around 50% of our funding now secured from nonbank sources. It has also increased the tenor of Precinct's borrowings and reduced refinance risk through a more laddered debt maturity profile.

Despite the fall in interest rates, our weighted average cost of debt increased year-on-year. This was due to higher hedging levels following the reduction in gearing and forward swaps that were put in place in 2015 to coincide with the original completion date of Commercial Bay. Average hedging in FY '20 is expected to be around 80% as we continue to draw on borrowings, which in turn will reduce interest costs over the year.

Turning to the next slide. We have announced today the decision to move to an AFFO-based dividend policy. Aligning dividend to AFFO is considered best practice. Compared to other operating performance measures, AFFO is a better measure of sustainable cash flows and the dividend capacity of a REIT. With an average AFFO payout ratio over the past 6 years of 101%, the previous policy of paying around 90% of net operating income after tax has been very effective. However, we believe it is now time to move explicitly to an AFFO-based policy, and that this decision will provide long-term sustainable dividends.

With our strategy progressing well, we continue to see dividend in AFFO growth. By developing our own assets and entering long-term leases, for instance, at Defence House, we expect maintenance CapEx and leasing costs to reduce over the medium term.

Turning to Slide 15. Earnings for the next financial year are expected to increase to $0.068 per share. As we execute our strategy, we continue to have confidence in our earnings outlook. A strong WALT, high occupancy levels and under-renting of 5% should deliver stable long-term growth, while our development opportunities will continue to provide further earnings accretion.

In addition, we expect Generator and lower market interest rates to support earnings growth over the next few years. Consistent with our dividend policy, we anticipate growing the FY '20 dividend by 5% to $0.063 per share.

Finally, we continue to make good progress on sustainability. In the year, we improved our GRESB rating to above the global average and lifted our MSCI ESG rating to A. As a direct result of our strategy, the environmental performance of our portfolio is improving. The recently completed Mason Brothers building achieved a 6 Star Green Star rating and won the Green Building Property Award at the 2019 Property Council Awards. We are very pleased that our carbon emission intensity across our operating business has reduced. Since we began reporting this metric in 2016, we have reduced emission intensity by around 22%.

While we have made good progress, we will look at ways to improve our reporting and explore other options in reducing our carbon footprint.

Thank you. I would now like to hand over to George.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George Crawford, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - COO [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Richard. Good morning. As we outlined on Page 18, the city center markets we invest in continue to generally perform well but to differing degrees. Our core market and prime office is the standout, and I will speak to conditions in each of Auckland and Wellington shortly.

As shown by Generator occupancy now sitting at 88%, demand for flexible space in Auckland and Wellington continues to grow as it's increasingly understood by office occupiers and included as part of their real estate strategies. We expect there to be a new supplier in Auckland city center over the next 1 to 2 years in response to this trend, and we think that will come from both new-to-market and existing operators.

Retailers remain under some pressure, and this is affecting affordability and keeping a lid on rents. However, despite this, we are seeing international retailers willing to commit to prime city center retail locations. The quality of the leasing mix at Commercial Bay backs this up.

International arrivals continue to grow, underpinning hotel demand, but there is some weakness with Chinese arrivals down. A number of new hotels have now been delivered ahead of the NZICC opening, and this is causing some weakness in hotel performance. Our view is that well-located assets will outperform over the longer term and that the current weaker conditions and high construction costs will act to constrain new supply.

The Auckland prime office market continues to perform better than has been predicted, with both JLL and CBRE significantly reducing their vacancy outlook over the last year. This is supporting continued forecast growth in office rentals, with JLL reporting market growth of 1.3% year-on-year. Our own portfolio have experienced higher levels of rental growth in this, which I will touch on more shortly.

The Wellington prime market continues to show very low vacancy levels, with just 1,750 square meters currently vacant. This is seeing strong rental growth forecasts, but with an expectation that growth will moderate as new supply comes online. Our observation is that while there are a few projects being planned, construction cost escalation and the availability of capital are limiting the amount of new supply, and we think they will -- these projects will probably be delivered later than was currently indicated.

Moving to Page 21. The cost of construction continued to increase and funding is becoming harder. We are seeing construction cost escalation now becoming more widespread, including in Wellington, and these factors are limiting new supply in both markets.

In terms of the investment market and the outlook, Richard has already covered the growth in our portfolio for the year. While capitalization rates are at new lows, with the move lower in interest rates, the spread between cap rates and interest rates has now widened significantly.

In terms of rentals, affordability remains good. And with supply constraints, the outlook for rental growth is sound. Importantly, if you look at the chart on the bottom right-hand side of Page 23, this shows the significant growth in replacement costs which is further underpinning value. Putting all this together indicates continued support for valuation growth. In particular, the move we have seen lower in interest rates since 30 June was not anticipated when our year-end valuations were carried out and is supportive of value growth.

Turning now to the portfolio performance. Across Wellington and Auckland, we remain in very strong shape. Highlights during the year included a new 9-year lease to Ministry of Education over 1 The Terrace, as well as the leasing of the new mezzanine space at AON Centre to Medical Council. In Auckland, we concluded a new 10-year lease to Jarden at Zurich House as well as a number of smaller leasing transactions which helped keep our portfolio occupancy at 99%.

Across our leasing transactions, we had an increase of 9.5% against previous contract rents, implying strong annualized growth of 4% since those rents were last set. This reflected growth of 11.6% against previous contract for Auckland and 7.7% for Wellington.

Looking forward to the 2020 financial year expiries, we are making good leasing progress. At Dimension Data House, we currently have one floor for lease following Forsyth Barr's relocation to another floor, and we expect the balance of expiries in that building to be retained. In Auckland, at PwC Tower, we are currently marketing Level 8, with the balance of the expiring space already committed. At Zurich House, we have one floor remaining to lease, with the other expiry already renewed.

Our most significant leasing exposure in Auckland is at the ANZ Centre. We have strong interest in some of the space, however, inquiry there has been slower than on our other Auckland assets.

In terms of asset sales, we are pleased to advise progress on the sale of Pastoral House, with a conditional agreement for sale and settlement expected post completion of refurbishment works in February 2020.

Moving to Section 4, our occupier market is continuing to evolve. Corporate real estate strategies now span a range of accommodation solutions, from long-term lease commitments, through to coworking. They often include multiple components from across the spectrum to match organizations' needs.

For Precinct, we are responding to this change by adapting our offering. While long-term leases remain where most of our exposure sits, being able to offer solutions to the market across the spectrum is a strong differentiator for us.

The acquisition of Generator has accelerated this broadening. It has helped us to better understand and to service the needs of our occupiers. We see Generator as being highly complementary to our strategy. Through Generator, we've been able to secure occupiers into the Precinct portfolio that we otherwise wouldn't have done. This has become a reality over the last few months, with 2 examples of significant scale technology businesses with growing needs, who are with Generator through their growth phase and are committed to move into Precinct space.

Through Generator's meeting and event spaces, we are able to provide Precinct clients with increased levels of amenity as well as them using Generator space to manage their growth and office space requirement for project teams, et cetera. This is providing value by helping our clients use their office spaces more efficiently. There are already a number of examples of Precinct clients using Generator space in this way, and there is greater opportunity. Through these spaces, we can also have a relationship with pretty much every occupier in the city center irrespective of their size and whether or not they're in a Precinct building.

Generator has seen strong growth in demand across the year, with revenue lifting from $7.6 million to $16.4 million, up 100%, and this has translated to a steady growth in profitability.

We opened our new site at Britomart Place at the start of the year. And by the end of the year, we have achieved our target across the business of occupancy sitting in the 85% to 90% range.

Our other key target was to have the business running profitably by the year-end, and this has been achieved with expectations that we will see a return of around 10% on our investment over the next year.

Looking forward, we see a number of key opportunities for Generator. We can lift performance through improving the utilization of space within our existing sites. We intend for Generator to run the Commercial Bay meeting suites, which will provide important amenity to our Commercial Bay clients on-site as well as the opportunity for them to utilize other Generator spaces.

We also believe that there is a strong opportunity in the Wellington market, and we are looking for a Generator site there. Wellington has a low level of coworking provision, but we see strong demand in that market as there are many small-scale but high-quality occupiers.

Thank you. And I will now hand back to Scott to take us through the balance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, George. Slide 34 sets out a summary of our current development commitments. We expect to secure a blended return on cost of at least 30% and a blended yield on cost of 7% or higher. In the last 12 months, we have committed to One Queen Street and Wynyard Quarter Stage Two, and we have completed Bowen Campus Stage One.

Our future development pipeline offers us significant opportunity to drive further value for shareholders, with additional stages at Bowen Campus in Wellington and Wynyard Quarter in Auckland. We expect that we will achieve a return on cost of at least 15% and a minimum yield on cost of 6.5% for these projects.

Now turning to Page 35 and focusing on Bowen Campus. Bowen Campus is now income-producing with the completion of the Charles Fergusson Tower in December 2018 and the rent commencing in Defence House in April this year. Pleasingly, these projects have been completed with return metrics that are ahead of our Board-approved feasibility, with a total return on cost of $41 million due to increased rent, lower cap rate and a higher occupancy.

Commercial Bay, set out on Page 37, has benefited once again from a lift in its completed valuation, having achieved further leasing success. The expected profit on completion is forecast to be well in excess of 40%, with the targeted yield maintained at 7.4% to 7.5%.

As outlined in May, we have adjusted our opening dates to now be March 2020 for the retail center and April 2020 for the PwC Tower. Since announcing the delay in May, we have monitored the level of production on-site and are pleased to report that progress is being achieved, which is consistent with those dates.

During the year, we have lifted our retail commitments to 95% of the available space. This is a major movement and demonstrates the significant demand that we had received. We are delighted with the composition and mix of retailers and very pleased that we will be bringing some new entrants to the New Zealand market.

We have also lifted our total commitment in the office building to 82% during the period. While we have actually leased around 8% of the tower in the period, we have decided to terminate the lease on levels 38 and 39 of the tower due to nonperformance by the tenant. So our total occupancy has now reached 82%, a lift from 78% last year. Thus, leasing leaves us with around 6,000 meters left to lease, and we remain very confident that we will lease the majority of this space prior to completion in April next year.

Now turning to Page 38 and focusing on Wynyard Quarter. Stage Two of Wynyard Quarter has progressed well during the year. We committed to this project with no leasing in late 2018 and are delighted with the construction and leasing progress to date. Construction has progressed very well. We are currently at Level 4 of the structure and have advanced our works slightly ahead of program. On the leasing front, we are delighted with our progress to date. We have leased around 5,000 square meters to Media Design School and have conditionally leased the remainder of the office space. The next area of focus will be on the 3 retail tenancies, with leasing expected to get underway very shortly.

Turning to Page 40 and focusing on One Queen Street. The design and preparation for works has progressed well in the last 12 months. A key area of focus has been on the design and cost plan for the hotel and ensuring that we are designing and building a hotel that meets the needs of the Auckland market. We have observed that the hotel market has softened a little in the last 12 months. However, we do remain confident in the positioning and integration of InterContinental Auckland into the Commercial Bay Precinct.

Now to our future development sites. Page 41 sets out the size and latest design for the remaining land at Bowen Campus. The land consists of around 4,000 square meters and will allow development of 21,000 square meters of office space. We are excited about what this land and these latest designs can offer both the corporate market and government occupiers. The buildings are receiving good levels of inquiry, and we're excited to progress these projects so that we can start construction during the next 12 months.

And finally, on the development section, Page 42, sets out the details for the final stages of Wynyard Quarter. We have progressed our design for a further 19,000 square meters of space and have recently lodged for resource consent. The design continues to progress, and based on the success of 10 Madden Street, we are considering when and how we might start this next phase of development.

The inquiry levels are high, and the future expiry dates for a number of occupiers supports a construction start in the next 12 months.

Now turning to Page 44. Precinct has a well-defined strategy which is focused on investing in New Zealand's 2 major city centers. We believe the results announced today demonstrate that the strategy is working well. Our markets are supportive, and we see more opportunity as supply/demand dynamics support those investors who have access to capital and have capability. Most pleasing has been the recognition that our strategy is driving meaningful growth in our cash earnings, with an emerging strong growth profile for our AFFO.

In terms of the outlook, we believe that Precinct is well positioned to create further shareholder value and develop high-quality real estate in strategic locations. We have a good strategy that we firmly believe in and are developing a track record that we can leverage.

We have a great team, a team who has learned a lot from our activities, and we're focused on how we can continue to use that capability and we have a strong balance sheet with capacity for future opportunities.

We're excited to lift our dividend for the FY '20 year by 5%, and we're particularly pleased to do so on the back of key strategic decisions and well-executed delivery.

Thank you all very much for dialing in today. I'll hand back to Edison, and we're happy to take calls -- questions.

================================================================================

Questions and Answers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [1]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) Your first question is from Nick Mar from Macquarie.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [2]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few. Just on the guidance for FY '20. Could you just provide a bit more color around what you're assuming for interest tax and also with the Generator EBITDA contributions included in that as well?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [3]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Sure, Nick. So interest, yes, noted that we're 100% hedged. That will fall as we start -- as we spend on Commercial Bay and the other projects. I think, overall, the kind of average interest rate will be about 5%, just over 5% for the year. And hopefully, end of the year, we'll be below that.

In terms of kind of tax, expecting it to be really low for the year, just with the amount of activity that we're undertaking at the moment.

And also, on Generator, yes, there is an assumption within that of around about $1 million.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [4]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Post tax?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [5]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [6]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So the tax rate, would you assume low single-digit effective tax rate?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [7]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. It will be quite low, again, just again, with what we're doing at Pastoral House, Mayfair, No. 1 tower down in Wellington and also, the development projects that we've got.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [8]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now that makes sense. And then just on Commercial Bay valuations, can you provide a breakdown of the uplift this year that was a release of profit and risk as you progressed the program versus a change in the final cap rate and therefore, the value uplift from that?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [9]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'd say the majority of it would be profit recognition. It would be a small amount from the shift in the value of the overall asset.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [10]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Because obviously, Auckland cap rate is down 20 points. If you run that across it, it's a pretty chunky number.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [11]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. So the office cap rates have come in slightly on Commercial Bay. We've seen about a -- maybe about a $20 million gain in terms of a value on a completed basis for Commercial Bay. And out of the reval this year, $77 million of it was development profit recognition and the majority of it was Com Bay.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [12]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And when you talked about the kind of 50-50 breakdown of reval from cap rate versus market rents, how do you classify the $77 million in that, or is that separate from it?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [13]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's separate, so the $160 million. $70 million goes to the -- $77 million goes to the development properties, which is separate to that equation, yes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [14]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So then the remaining kind of $85-odd million, you just divide it by 2. Is that how you talked about it, 50-50?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [15]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Essentially, yes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [16]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. No, that's cool. And then just on the divestments, you guys are obviously marking Pastoral and Mayfair as a combined transaction. Can you just talk through the rationale for not transacting that way in the end?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [17]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I think probably one of our lessons out of that process has been preselling assets like that has been a little more challenging. So I think the reason that we've had success on Pastoral is that the works are underway and our expectation is that those works will be completed by the end of this year. So for those people that are looking to acquire those assets, there's sort or less risk around what might happen in the market around interest rates and yields in the meantime. Mayfair is further out. So we're expecting Mayfair construction to start February next year. So that means it won't be completed for another 12 months after that. And I think one of the lessons we've learned out of attempting to do that is that there's probably just a bit too much uncertainty for the market.

So at this stage, we're hoping things will go well on Pastoral in terms of completing DD, and that will become unconditional a bit later this year. And then we'll look and reconsider Mayfair down the track.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [18]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And just the $77 million number versus book of [60] and how much you have left to spend on that?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [19]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. So I think $77 million, you'll see us exit at around book. We took a small reval gain effectively this year. So once we accept the like-for-like around

(technical difficulty)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [20]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perfect. And then just on the future development pipeline. At the half year, you had talked about kind of targeted return on cost of -- or yield on cost of 7, now it's 6.5 to 7. Just talk through the changes in thinking there.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [21]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Look, I'd just -- it's very much a function of continuing construction cost escalation and sort of, I suppose, communicating. We still have an aspiration, to be honest, to get yields on cost that are in the 7s. We think that's really value-accretive to shareholders. But at the same time, if we had a really fantastic opportunity to get underway with the development with a really good occupier and it was in the mid- to high 6s, we think that based on our funding costs right now, we think that is still a sensible thing to do. So I just wanted to communicated that, that bottom end may have come in a little.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [22]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question is from Jeremy Simpson from Forsyth Barr.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeremy Andrew Simpson, Forsyth Barr Group Ltd., Research Division - Director & Senior Analyst of New Zealand Equities [23]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well done on the AFFO adoption and the divi guidance too. That's great. Just in terms of, I guess, the sort of climate one at the moment, I'm interested in your feedback from how your nongovernment tenants are thinking about life, I guess, and the need for space. And then, I guess, that married against the tight space outlook, I guess, that being sort of forced into making some decisions as well. But interested in sort of what are most of the drivers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George Crawford, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - COO [24]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Jeremy, George here. So look, in terms of demand from occupiers outside of government, we'll talk to Wellington first. We're seeing that demand as really quite strong. And it's sort of, I guess, not really connected to the economic conditions. It's more to do with the property market conditions down there, with the impacts of seismic concerns on existing buildings, stock having been taken out of the market. And also, a lot of the nongovernment occupiers in that market are still quite related to government activity. So their own activity levels are pretty strong. And so we're seeing sort of expansion and a move up in quality within that Wellington market.

And Auckland, generally, it's a fairly similar picture. That business' own needs for space tend to be increasing, and we're seeing most occupiers either occupying a space fully or in some cases, needing additional space, so it's very tight. So we aren't seeing yet a transmission of what you might think from what's driving lower interest rates through to impacts on demand.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeremy Andrew Simpson, Forsyth Barr Group Ltd., Research Division - Director & Senior Analyst of New Zealand Equities [25]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cool. Just -- sorry I missed the answer to Nick's question about Generator. What was the post-tax contribution expected to be for that?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [26]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's around $1 million for next year that we're assuming.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [27]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) We have a question from Victoria Young from BusinessDesk.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victoria Young;BusinessDesk, [28]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was just looking for an update on how much you might have withheld from Fletcher's in liquidated damages on Commercial Bay. And also, if you could name any of the other retailers you've picked up since the last announcement.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [29]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi, it's Richard here. We've withheld 36 -- just over $36 million from Fletcher's. And for your other question, I'll hand that to Scott.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [30]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Victoria, we haven't yet released some of the new leasing that we've done in terms of retailers. We are talking to them at the moment about their optimal timing as to when they would like to release that. And so I suspect and hope that will be in the next month or so, but we are excited about where the mix is getting to. We've had really strong demand from retailers in the last, particularly in the last 2 months. I think as more certainty has become obvious around completion of the center and opening dates, the retailers have really responded well.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victoria Young;BusinessDesk, [31]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you say, are they the big international brands or it's still a bit of a mix, or any hints, I guess?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [32]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I think our momentum in the last couple of months has been international brands looking to get a city center position. So we're really excited by that. We've only got a handful of stores left.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [33]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) We have our next question from Angus Simpson from ANZ.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Angus Simpson, ANZ Investment Services (New Zealand) Limited - Equity Analyst [34]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just the first question, just a quick one. So what is the exact completed value on Commercial Bay now? And how much CapEx is left to spend -- to be spent on Commercial Bay?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [35]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The value on completions, 1.035, 1.037, in that order.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [36]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.035.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [37]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.035. And we've got about $100 million to spend.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Angus Simpson, ANZ Investment Services (New Zealand) Limited - Equity Analyst [38]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Right. And then just on -- I don't know how much you can say on this, but can you just comment on the Wellington market, the government's willingness to sort of pay market rents now?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [39]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Won't you go for it?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George Crawford, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - COO [40]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Look, I think like all occupiers in the Wellington market, particularly after 2016 losses of buildings, there's a real focus on resilience and the ability to remain in buildings post a quake. And that's seeing occupiers across the market, including government, being willing to pay for that resilience.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Angus Simpson, ANZ Investment Services (New Zealand) Limited - Equity Analyst [41]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Okay. And then just one last question and then maybe you may not be able to answer it as well, but the $36 million of liquidated damages. How will that be traded from an accounting point of view, will that come through as a revenue in FY '20 or how -- could you just sort of talk through how you expect to -- that expected to be recognized in the P&L?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [42]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. So currently, we've got a current liability sitting there and it [consists of an] asset identified. But some of that will come through as revenue, and some will go to capital. But the vast majority will go to revenue as our expectation, as that is what's [out there] to compensate our pricing for.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [43]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your next question is from Nick Mar from Macquarie.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [44]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you just talk about the under renting? It's obviously gone down since you guys last reported, and it doesn't seem like market rents have really rushed off that much. So is it just a realization impact?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Hilder, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CFO [45]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi, Nick. It's good to get you back. Yes, it has gone down. HSBC, we reported in under renting last year. It's been pulled out this year, just given that we won't get that reversion on that asset given the development there. So that pulled it back a bit. But most of it's today with a lot of good leasing and new leasing at AMP and certainly the Auckland portfolio. But George just probably can talk to that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George Crawford, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - COO [46]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. Look, AMP building, we've had really good growth coming through, and my view is that we'll continue to see that there. Even with where the sort of valuers are positioning market rents, we think there's still opportunity for growth. The other one is probably Zurich House, where we're seeing good potential there as well.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [47]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. No, that's good. And then just on Bowen Stage Two. Are you guys still running with a design that's not base-isolated? And can you just talk through what your kind of feedback is from tenants about having it the way you're doing it versus fully based isolated?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [48]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes. I mean so we're designing to a specification which is sort of a low-damage performance, which means that in the event of a quake in Wellington, the building will perform significantly better and it's designed to be operational post event. There's a number of ways in which you can achieve that. One is base isolation. Another is using dampers within the structure of the building to facilitate some flexibility in the structure. And that minimizes the extent of damage within the frame and within the building. So it gives occupiers much greater confidence that they will be able to go back into the building immediately after or shortly after and continue to operate.

That approach is attracting quite a lot of interest from government occupiers, particularly for those agencies that require resilience in terms of their operations. So it comes with a slight cost premium. But to date, based on our engagement, there's an absolute willingness to try and sort of -- to try and achieve that and have a building that performs like that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick Mar, Macquarie Research - Analyst [49]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And do you know how much more base -- full-base isolation would cost?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [50]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The difference between what we're doing and what base isolation is I don't actually know off the top of my head, Nick. Base isolation was a premium to what we are doing. And so we place a great deal of reliance on our structural engineers and the modeling that they do and try and sort of just understand the basic cost/benefit analysis.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [51]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have another question from Jeremy Simpson from Forsyth Barr.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeremy Andrew Simpson, Forsyth Barr Group Ltd., Research Division - Director & Senior Analyst of New Zealand Equities [52]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just one more, guys. Just the tenant nonperformance on levels 38 and 39 in Commercial Bay, is it somewhat unusual, but is it at the same time a bit of an opportunity, I guess, with where and how tight space is now?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [53]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, look, it's a shame. We -- it was an offshore investment company and the type of party that sort of jumps at those opportunities to be on the top of the tower, and they haven't performed. And we've given them plenty of opportunities to perform, and look, they just -- they haven't got there. So we've had to make a call. We're not uncomfortable with that. We've only got 6,000 meters left to lease. And as you say, it's not -- there's not a great deal of opportunities to get on the top of a tower like that.

So we feel very confident that we'll get that space away. We've already had a couple of phone calls from people who have interest and have had awareness that, that space might be available. So it's a great space.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [54]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Operator Instructions) We don't have any other questions as of the moment. Presenters, please continue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scott Pritchard, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited - CEO [55]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks, Edison. And look, once again, everyone, I'd like to thank you all for dialing in. We're really pleased with the result.

Thank you for your interest, and thank you for your ongoing support. And we're happy to take any further questions after the call. Thanks, everyone.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operator [56]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our call for today. Thank you for participating. You may all disconnect.