Pontegadea, el brazo inverter Amancio Ortegaended 2021 with a profit of 1,606 million euros, more than double the profits recorded in the year of the pandemic, weighed down by the impact of the Covid and by the hack that Inditex imposed on the dividend to shareholders for this reason. Last year, in addition, his property portfolio, the crown jewel of his ffamily office outside the textile empire, has achieved a record independent expertise, which reached 15,264 million euros, the highest valuation in its history, above the pre-pandemic 15,163 million. In bricks, the American market plays a major role. So much so that over the past five years, the book value of its North American businesses has increased by almost 70%.
This follows from the accounts filed with the commercial register by Pontegadea Inmobiliariathe subsidiary of the investment group Ortega Gaona which brings together all the investments in the brick of the holding companies except those in the UK, who separated under the umbrella of Pontegadea GB 2020.
Why are profits falling?
The accounts of Pontegadea Inmobiliaria indicate that the company’s assets have increased from 7,130 to 7,889 million euros in one year, while his net worth increased from 6,960 million to 7,750 million. Turnover, which essentially depends on the dividends it receives from its subsidiaries, reached 58 million euros compared to 495 million in 2020as well as the net result for the year amounted to 51 million against 416 million calculated twelve months earlier.
The fall, in any case, is not really related to the activity of Ortega in the brick, but is explained by the reorganization undertaken the year of the pandemic and the dividend policy. That year, Pontegadea Inmobiliaria added the company Pontegadea España to its scope, which extraordinarily injected 346 million euros in dividends that previously went to another company.
In the management report that accompanies its balance sheet, the directors of Pontegadea Inmobiliaria indicate that “the main objective of the company is to maximize the profitability of investments, by controlling risks”. “In this sense, it essentially maintains the stake in companies with real estate activities, but with medium-low market risk because the activity is centered on rental real estate in OECD countries and prime assets, in the best locations of the main capitals and with a diversification of activities (detailoffices, hotels, etc.) and counterparties (tenants)”.
These investment principles were, in large measure, what determined that in the year of the pandemic, Ortega’s real estate business was, in its holding, the one that has suffered the least from the impact of the coronavirus. With clients like Facebook or Amazon, those of Roberto Cibeira (CEO of Pontegadea) dodged the flaws that large real estate companies and socimis had to adapt to.
Book value of its subsidiaries
Pontegadea Inmobiliaria does not indicate in its accounts the independent valuation of its brick assets, but the book value (book value of the assets and liabilities of a company) of its subsidiaries shows the weight and the evolution of the American activity these last years.
Among the various group companies and associates, Pontegadea USA Inc and its subsidiaries closed last year with a book value of 3,277 million euros compared to the 3,175 million calculated in 2020. The expansion of Amancio Ortega’s investments in the United States began years ago, if we take into account that, still according to the documentation sent to the commercial register, the book value of these vehicle investments at the end of 2017 amounted to €1.93 billion. In other words, in five years, the value of its American business has increased by nearly 70%.
The figures of the other subsidiaries of Pontegadea Inmobiliaria show the weight of the American market. The book value as of December 31 of Pontegadea España was €1.91 billionwhile, for example, that of Pontegadea France amounts to €291 millionthe same ones it presented at the end of 2020.
After the end of the financial year, the company subscribed to a capital increase in Pontegadea Canada for 526 million euros. Most likely, this operation is related to one of the big purchases of Ortega made in 2022, that of the Royal Bank Plaza in Toronto, a historic investment valued at around 800 million euros. This year, Pontegadea would also have invested some 240 million for the acquisition of an office building in Glasgow, as well as 500 million for the 19 Dutch residential building in Manhattan.
Thus, bricks, and especially investments in North America and the United Kingdom, are gaining more and more weight in Ortega’s portfolio. Spain’s richest man feels good in the United States, and it’s not just a prominent position in his investment holding company, It is also already the second market after Spain for the textile giant Inditex.…