STABILISING: Linstow Loses NOK 10m in 2010, Improvement on 2009

28 Jun 2011 • by Natalie Aster

Norway's Linstow property group, a long-time property investor in the Baltic countries, made a net loss of NOK 9.8m in 2010 on an NOK 660m turnover. The loss was heavily influenced by a financial loss of NOK 137m.

Even though the NOK 9.8m pretax loss in 2010 is a nuisance, it is still a whole lot better than the NOK 578m loss in 2009 brought about by substantial write-offs on primarily Baltic properties.

Linstow actually managed to make money on operations, NOK 19m in 2010, against a whopping loss of NOK 312m in 2009. When you look at Linstow's rental revenue in 2010, it still shrunk by approximately 20% to NOK 154m compared to 2009.

According to Linstow's CEO Per Mortensen, this trend has been broken and the market reached the bottom in 2010. "We have seen somewhat growing rent figures in the Baltics in the first quarters of 2011 and we also expect occupancy and room rates in the hotels to increase, so we see an improvement, albeit an marginal one, in both the retail and the hotel business now," says Mr Mortensen to news2biz.

But even though income levels are improving, Linstow is not hurrying off to invest in the Baltic markets. "The construction levels in the Baltics are very low right now and the market is still anticipating improvement. We have some projects in our portfolio that we have been considering for a long time, but in general we are anticipating together with the rest of the market. On the other hand, however, we are a longterm player and we have no plans of exiting the Baltic market," Mr Mortensen adds.

Linstow has been the leading property developer in Latvia since the late nineties – and remains so after closing its Reval hotel brand and setting out the operations of its hotels to Carlson that operates them under the Radisson Blu and Park Inn brand names.

Linstow owns three Radisson Blu hotels in Riga, the ESPA Riga spa, the Jacobs parking arcade as well as the shopping centres Galerija Centrs, Origo and Riga Retail Park and its Latvia-based subsidiary Linstow Center Management manages the formerly owned malls Alfa, Mols and Dole, all in Riga.

In Estonia, Linstow owns Radisson Blu Olumpia and Park Inn Central Tallinn as well as the Ulemiste shopping centre, Estonia's second largest, next to the airport. In Lithuania, Linstow owns the Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva as well as three Park Inn hotels, in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda.

Linstow is 100% owned by the privately-owned investment company AWilhelmsen which has among other things invested in shipping and offshore, and partly owns the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the Expert household electronics chain with outlets in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Finland.

The above news abstract has been taken from a bi-weekly newsletter to professionals doing business in Eastern Europe "news2biz – Property and Retail".

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