The British subsidiary of Pontegadea, the company with which Zara founder Amancio Ortega manages his personal investments, ended last year with assets in the UK worth 2,824 million pounds (3275 million euros). As the company recognizes in its annual accounts, this is the assessment that an independent company made of its buildings and land in the country on September 30. Consequently, the value has only improved by about £40m (1.4%) compared to 2019 (when assets were estimated at £2,784m), despite the fact that Pontegadea UK reports it has bought new property for nearly £190m. Sterling last year, the year was marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK’s exit from the European Union.
On the UK’s departure from the EU, property agency managers in the accounts indicated they were not particularly concerned. They say Brexit “should not have a significant impact on the company’s operations”, although they added that they will “monitor” new trade deals that may arise between the EU and the UK and their potential impact. It did, however, in terms of business structure, since the British subsidiary now has a newly created company called Pontegadea GB 2020 as the dominant company in Spain. This forced Pontegadea Inversiones to leave the board of directors last September. The family office The richest man in Spain, the Pontegadea Inmobiliaria. In his place, Jose Arnao Sierra, also a shareholder and co-owner of Inditex, entered the Luxembourg Hills Place Company as directors.
With regard to Covid, Pontegadea UK’s annual report notes that it “had no particular impact”, although among the risks inherent in the company, which gets most of its income from rental properties, there is a “lack of demand from tenants affecting rents.” Commercial real estate and occupancy level.” In other words, due to less commercial activity, premises remain empty. The calculations add: “The remission of the COVID-19 pandemic expected in 2021 will allow the demand for rental space to recover to levels prior to the health crisis.”
Nearly 105 million in rentals
The British subsidiary reports that last year it received £90.7 million (approximately €105 million) in rental income, compared to 73.4 million in 2019. It is a 24% increase, although it must be taken into account that the company British real estate investment company Ortega also had more assets for lease. At the end of 2019, he made one of his biggest investments when he acquired The Post, an office building in central London for which he paid more than 700 million euros.
The pandemic has featured in future income projections: in the year after the accounts were drawn up, Pontegadea UK announced it had signed leases worth £70m, compared to more than 73m it had forecast in the previous year. The amounts to be received for long-term leases, over five years, also decrease compared to 2019 (from 645 million to 624 million). But the better performance of contracts between 2 and 5 years slightly raised the total forecast, rising from 1,016 million to 1,032 million.
The company’s total sales (plus income from rentals generated by other concepts) rose last year to 102.1 million pounds, up 15.5% from 2019. Operating profit also grew (+9.7%), rising from 59.4 million pounds to 65.2 million pounds and profit After paying taxes, it rose 5.7% to 48.1 million pounds. Last year, the company had seven employees, and the cost of its employees was about 700 thousand pounds. Calculations specify that these figures do not include the directors paid by Ortega’s other companies.
Pontegadea is family office which manages the personal investments of Amancio Ortega, whose main income comes from its position as the largest shareholder in the textile group Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Bershka …). A very important part of the investments is focused on the real estate sector, towards office or commercial buildings. Through the main company in Spain and its subsidiaries in several countries, Ortega, whose fortune exceeds 65,000 million euros, according to estimates. Forbes, owns properties for rent in Spain, the UK and the US, among other countries. The last known acquisition took place, to be precise, in London: company sources confirmed to Europa Press last week that it had acquired the headquarters of the Cinven Fund in Central Square in St James. The value of the operation amounted to 220 million euros.