Last Updated on Thursday, 23 September, 2021 at 8:51 am by Andre Camilleri
Unwavering commitment to investment has enabled Hili Properties, the Maltese-owned strategic real estate investment group, to amass a portfolio of assets across five European countries valued at more than €115 million and set itself firmly on a trajectory of consistent growth, according to Managing Director George Kakouras.
Hili Properties, a subsidiary of multi-disciplinary group Hili Ventures, was established in 2012 with a mission to identify and recognise opportunities in real estate in growing European territories. The company partners trusted professionals and specialists who act decisively and ethically to deliver outcomes that become highly desirable business addresses and realise attractive return on investment.
Hili Properties’ current portfolio comprises six grocery-anchored shopping centres across Latvia’s capital Riga, a private hospital in Bucharest, Romania, 11 properties housing restaurants in key commercial districts in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta, and three dedicated business blocks and office space in Sliema, Marsa and Floriana. Its tenants include Premier Restaurants, the operator of McDonald’s, Swedish-owned supermarket giant Rimi, and Norwegian newsagent/convenience chain Narvesen. In total, the assets accommodate more than 80 business tenants.
The current assets total 75,500 square metres of rentable real estate, enjoying an occupancy level of 99% with a highly favourable weighted average unexpired lease term of 8.8 years.
“Hili Properties has an unwavering commitment to investment to realise its vision to expand and enrich its portfolio through acquisition and rejuvenation,” Mr Kakouras explains. “We share our parent Hili Ventures’ ambition for growth, and we follow its footprint as we build a pipeline of opportunities. In this way, we target territories where the wider group possesses extensive market knowledge, enabling us to focus on locations with the most favourable outlook and the assets that demonstrate the best potential.”
The company seeks to invest in retail properties in city centres and suburban areas including shopping centres and high street retail outlets, warehousing, industrial and distribution facilities, and office properties situated in sought-after prime locations with a high potential of attracting interest from tenants.
The company’s business model relies on active asset management to maximise operating efficiency and profitability at property level. Hili Properties made strategic investments in several retail complexes in Latvia in 2015 and 2018 and acquired a commercial block housing one of Romania’s most prominent private hospitals in 2017. A few retail complexes have been renovated and remodelled, enhancing their positioning on the real estate market and elevating their status in their communities.
“Our teams in Malta, Romania and the Baltics direct much energy into working with current and potential tenants, authorities and communities to understand just how important our buildings are to them,” Mr Kakouras adds. “We then inject further investment based on those conversations to rejuvenate the properties and design a collaborative management strategy to take us forward together.
“This all-encompassing approach means we nurture solid relationships with everyone who has an interest in our real estate, increase the assets’ value, and enhance our position in each market – at property level, on a reputational level and from a business perspective. Our approach and the good will that shapes our relationships also meant that we were able to navigate the challenging situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic very favourably, thanks to rent relief and incentives.”
Meanwhile, Hili Properties is currently in advanced discussions to acquire an industrial property in Lithuania and real estate housing a major retail operation in Warsaw. The acquisition of the latter, Hili Properties’ first asset in Poland, will support its strategy to venture into more EU countries that present stable economic growth and potential.
During the first six months to June 2021, Hili Properties registered stable total revenues of €3.8 million. Profitability between January and June 2021 improved over the preceding period thanks to improved cost management. The company’s profitability will be strengthened further thanks to its planned investments in the short and medium term.
Hili Properties Managing Director George Kakouras: “Our teams in Malta, Romania and the Baltics direct much energy into working with current and potential tenants, authorities and communities to understand just how important our buildings are to them.”
Hili Properties’ portfolio, a strong asset base currently valued at more than €115 million, includes real estate housing a renowned private hospital in Romania’s capital Bucharest.