Message from the CEO

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OdisseasAthanassiou

Message from the CEO

Dear Shareholders,

 

2019 was another landmark year for Lamda Development.

Our most important milestone was the completion of the €650 mln Share Capital Increase, the highest non-banking share capital increase of the decade in Greece. Through this, Lamda Development reached a capitalization and net asset value exceeding €1 bln, while important new investors, such as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Aegean Airlines -which is now an important strategic partner of the company- have acquired an equity stake in the company, confirmingthe support of the Greek business community to the Hellinikon project. Now, we are not only a larger company, but a company with new capabilities and prospects. This brings us to a very favorable position with regards to attracting interest from international partners across the business and investment spectrum.

Most importantly, the successful completion of the Share Capital Increase is the most positive vote of confidence to the emblematic Hellinikon project, which will give much-needed impetus to the Greek economy and create value for everyone.

2019 was also a year of solid performance for our company. For the seventh consecutive year, we achieved a significant increase in our shopping centers’ operating profitability by 8.60%, while, at Group level, consolidated EBITDA, excluding Hellinikon project-related expenses, increased by 7.90%. Considering the fair value of the properties included in the company's investment portfolio, the overall EBITDA reached €115.90 mln.

Our source of inspiration and growth is, of course, our clients. Our shopping centers attract 25 mln visitors annually, host 5,500 brands, and support 7,000 jobs. The average occupancy rate is consistently close to 100% and shopkeepers’ turnover reaches €700 mln per year.

We are proud of our consistent performance all these years. Our objective is not just to maintain a leading position in the Greek Real Estate market. We are in constant search for innovations so that we can offer superior shopping and entertainment experiences in our shopping and leisure centers.

To this end, we inaugurated a major part of Golden Hall’s expansion in December, further expanding our entertainment and shopping offering for the whole family. The extension is a €25 mln investment, creating more than 500 new jobs.

Moreover, it is worth noting that in early 2020 we acquired shares of Lamda Dogus Investments S.A. for €12.40 mln, and now we control a 77.23% stake at Lamda Flisvos Marina S.E., the operator of Flisvos Marina.

Moving Ahead

2020 started off on a positive note. Even though the coronavirus pandemic has created new market conditions globally, inevitably affecting the Greek economy and the operation of our shopping centers, we have already adjusted to the new realities.

From the start of the health crisis, we promptly adopted all necessary measures to protect visitors and employees at our shopping centers. After 10 weeks over which they stayed closed, we reopened, not only following the guidelines issued by the competent authorities but also adopting and implementing additional measures to ensure the health and safety of our visitors.

Suspending our shopping centers’ operation, however necessary, had serious consequences for all stores. In this unprecedented situation, we had to stand by our partners. For this reason, we proceeded to reduce rents at all our shopping centers by 70% for April and May, compared to the 40% mandated by law. We have also taken initiatives to attract consumers and boost traffic, always putting the safety of employees and visitors first. We need to point out that, despite reducing rents, we maintain sufficient cash to meet the Group’s commitments and we are smoothly implementing our plans for all Group activities, rapidly moving ahead to starting works at the Hellinikon site.

In such a dynamic and changing international environment, adapting is the safest way to achieve any target. As a company, we have proved many times our ability to open new paths, to move forward with speed and flexibility to meet the demands of our times. Our driving force is satisfying our shareholders, our partners, our shopping centers’ visitors and, of course, our employees.

We also draw optimism from the exemplary way our country successfully handled the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic, standing out as an example of effective crisis management worldwide. The state’s effectiveness and the collective responsibility shown by citizens enhanced trust in and out of our country’s borders, allowing Greece to further solidify its position as a safe investment and tourist destination.

The Hellinikon investment

After a long and adventurous journey, we are now close to the transfer of HELLINIKON S.A.’s shares to our company. We have often referred to the financial and technical aspects of the investment, which constitutes the largest urban development project in Europe at the moment, with an overall budget of €8 bln. This is a project that will give a much-needed growth boost to the Greek economy and will reposition Athens and our country on the international investment and tourism map. As we approach the official start of works, the project's positive impact on society will gradually also become evident.

Our vision for the Hellinikon is to develop a model, smart city, incorporating cutting-edge technologies and modern urban planning principles. A modern city that will be friendly to its people -locals, employees, and visitors- and the environment. Where there is concrete, We will create large green and leisure communal spaces, a 50 km network of pedestrian and bicycle paths, public transportation for visitors and residents, as well as new infrastructure and systems for efficient energy, water, and waste management allowing for optimum use of natural resources in accordance with sustainability and circular economy principles. Furthermore, existing buildings of historic importance will be preserved, archeological sites will be highlighted and athletic facilities will be redeveloped.

Our vision is our driving force. It has given us faith and strength, even in the midst of the crisis, to overcome adversity and come to the point we are today. Now that Greece is in the spotlight as a most positive example, we have another opportunity to prove that we are ready to take the next step, with realism and commitment to our business plan.

Dear shareholders,

2020 marks the beginning of a new era for Lamda Development, as the Hellinikon is moving to its next phase. The Hellinikon is a one-of-a-kind project that will signal the country’s transition to a new era, with a positive footprint that will extend throughout the Greek economy and society.

Our company has proved over time its ability to capitalize on opportunities, as well as its resilience and the methodical fashion in which it managed to tackle the challenges along the way.

The accumulated knowledge and experience earned over the past years, the solid support of our shareholders, and especially the support of Latsis Group, as well as the trust of our shopping centers’ visitors and of our partners in Greece and abroad, constitute guarantees that give us even more incentive to remain optimistic about our company’s prospects and achieving our common goals.

I would like to thank our employees for their devotion and effectiveness, as well as the adaptability they have shown as they continued to work in an exemplary manner, even under unprecedented conditions, towards the realization of our vision.

On behalf of Lamda Development's management team and employees, thank you for your support.

                                                                                                              Odisseas Athanasiou,

Chief Executive Officer