Hufvudstaden AB is a Swedish real estate company listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange Large Cap list. The company was founded by Ivar Kreuger in 1915 and has since its inception been a significant property owner in central Stockholm and manages many properties, which have been owned since the first years of operation, located in the block between Norrmalmstorg and Stureplan.
After the Kreuger crash, the company came under control by Custos until 1998, when Fredrik Lundberg took over as principal owner. Following an international expansion during the 1980s, Hufvudstaden's real estate portfolio is now fully concentrated to central Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Property portfolio (30 properties*) - Stockholm
Property portfolio (8 properties*) - Gothenburg
Let's take a look at excerpts from the January-June report of 2019.
...RENTAL MARKET The demand for modern, flexible office space in prime locations in central Stockholm continued to be positive during the period. Vacant space has remained low and in Stockholm's most attractive locations – in Bibliotekstan, at Norrmalmstorg/Hamngatan, and in the Hötorget area – market rents for office space have risen slightly within the range of SEK 6,100-8,700 per square metre per year, excluding the property tax supplement.
There has been continued interest in primelocation retail premises in the same sub-markets. For retail premises in prime locations, the market rents were SEK 14,000-25,000 per square metre per year, excluding the property tax supplement.
Demand for modern office premises in central sub-markets in Gothenburg continued to be positive, with a low level of vacant space. Market rents in prime locations have risen slightly and are SEK 2,800-3,700 per square metre per year, excluding the property tax supplement. For retail premises, the market rents are SEK 6,000-15,000 per square metre per year, excluding the property tax supplement.
The outcome from Group renegotiations for both retail and office premises has been positive. During the period, a total of 27,500 square metres were renegotiated at a rental value of SEK 149 million. On average, the renegotiations result in an increase in rent of approximately 12 per cent...
---- Hufvudstaden's financing requirements are met through a number of the major Nordic banks and the capital market. Total borrowing as at June 30, 2019 amounted to SEK 7,850 million (7,350 at the turn of the year). Interest-bearing net debt was SEK 7,760 million (6,279 at the turn of the year). The increase refers to the additional leasing liability of SEK 770 million according to IFRS 16 and payment of the dividend.
Hufvudstaden has an MTN programme totalling SEK 8,000 million and a commercial paper programme amounting to SEK 3,000 million. The outstanding amount in bonds was SEK 5,200 million and SEK 1,650 million in commercial paper. Hufvudstaden ensures that at any point in time there are unutilized loan assurances to cover all outstanding commercial paper-----
Given the prime locations the properties are situated in, and the exceptionally low debt levels for the entire company, and the loan assurances that are in place, shields Hufvudstaden from future interest-rate raises and its potential impact on the debt-servicing.
A continually low-interest rate environment that is being fostered by the Riksbank is set to benefit the real-estate sector as a whole, and especially - Hufvudstaden.
Hufvudstaden is therefore a property-company that deserves allocation in one's portfolio, with a target price of 200 SEK before the end of 2019.