METRO PROPERTIES is the real estate company of METRO GROUP. It owns 620 retail properties. Its primary job is to increase the value of the Group’s real estate assets over the long term through active, strategic portfolio management. The company acts as a service provider for our sales lines that assists with the search for suitable business locations as well as the development, construction and management of retail properties. Other services include energy management as well as facility management for retail, administrative and warehouse locations. METRO GROUP reports real estate as an independent segment in order to better underscore its value contribution.
Efficient location and investment decisions
All real estate management activities were bundled in METRO PROPERTIES in 2011. As part of this change, related activities that were the responsibility of METRO Cash & Carry were transferred to METRO PROPERTIES. This allowed us to expand the service range for all sales lines. In the financial year 2012, METRO PROPERTIES optimised numerous processes in the areas of expansion, investment planning and coordination. The objective was to expedite the decision-taking process for new investments and locations and more efficiently implement these decisions. In one reflection of this, the company more intensely reviews the value appreciation potential of the available locations for international expansion in order to better allocate the funds earmarked for investment. In addition, METRO PROPERTIES refined Company-specific standards for the development of new stores and initiated steps to bolster international construction management. It also introduced facility management solutions for the continuously growing portfolio of Company-owned property and rental property in order to reduce costs while maintaining high service quality. One example of this is the expansion of the rapid maintenance force in Poland and Russia that can quickly fix building and equipment defects across all sales lines.
Value-oriented portfolio strategy
The experts at METRO PROPERTIES regularly evaluate and analyse international and national markets, competition and real estate trends as a basis for strategic real estate management. Its employees work out targets for our portfolio as well as for the individual locations and properties in order to achieve systematic and long-term gains in revenue and value. METRO PROPERTIES does this by optimally leveraging investment cycles. The company aims to sell properties at the height of their value appreciation. Profitable acquisitions are made in those markets where real estate prices show long-term growth potential. In December 2012, METRO GROUP sold a stake of 69.26 percent in its fully owned subsidiary OPCI FRENCH WHOLESALE PROPERTIES – FWP to a group of investors. The Company generated €120 million from this sale.
Experts for planning, project development and construction
METRO PROPERTIES supports our sales lines in planning and constructing state-of-the-art shopping centres – from property analysis and the preparation of development concepts to site construction. Additional services include reconstructions, modernisations and expansions. A team of project developers, architects and engineers works closely with the sales lines of METRO GROUP as well as with external customers.
Energy efficiency as a job of the future
For METRO GROUP, the energy-related optimisation of its locations is a long-range, strategic undertaking. By applying this approach, the Group can respond to continuously rising energy prices as well as reduce climate-relevant emissions related to business activities. METRO PROPERTIES develops concepts that enable METRO GROUP to lower its energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions – such as using alternative energies and renewable electricity production. The METRO GROUP Energy Management System, which centrally and uniformly records energy consumption, has been providing a basis for this concept for several years. 95 percent of the system’s expansion was completed during the reporting year. As a result of this analysis, METRO GROUP is able to plan the necessary refurbishment activities and trendsetting technical system concepts and, thus, can take an extensive number of energy-saving steps. In 2012, we invested approximately €10 million more in energy conservation projects alone at METRO Cash & Carry. The focal areas of these projects were energy-intensive refrigeration, air conditioning, heating and humidification with an average amortisation time of 4 years. To reduce our carbon footprint, we pressed ahead with the use of natural cooling agents in the Company’s own refrigeration units in 5 countries during the financial year.
Joint venture for centre management
MEC METRO-ECE Centermanagement GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between METRO PROPERTIES and Hamburg-based property developer ECE, further strengthened the position of centre management in the German market and opened new growth opportunities for it in 2012. In the financial year 2012, 2 additional management contracts with an international investor were signed. In addition, the rental income from the managed retail parks recorded substantial improvement in some cases.