What helps, too, is taking a long view of the history that comes with running a business founded in 1589, the events that it has witnessed and withstood over time.

“Nazis, Communists, government takeovers — in the past, we’ve had just about everything here,” Mr. Fritsche said. “And we have survived it all. We will get through this as well.”

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The World Tries to Move Beyond Covid. China May Stand in the Way.

As the rest of the world learns to live with Covid-19, China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, wants his country to keep striving to live without it — no matter the cost.

China won a battle against its first outbreak in Wuhan, Mr. Xi said last week, and “we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai,” he added, referring to the epicenter of the current outbreak in China.

summarized it as “zero movement, zero G.D.P.” Multinational companies have grown wary of further investments in the country.

For more than two years, China kept its Covid numbers enviably low by doggedly reacting to signs of an outbreak with testing and snap lockdowns. The success allowed the Communist Party to boast that it had prioritized life over death in the pandemic, unlike Western democracies where deaths from the virus soared.

More transmissible variants like Omicron threaten to dent that success, posing a dilemma for Mr. Xi and the Chinese Communist Party. Harsher lockdowns have been imposed to keep infections from spreading, stifling economic activity and threatening millions of jobs. Chinese citizens have grown restless, pushing back against being forced to stay home or to move into grim, government-run isolation facilities.

politically important year for Mr. Xi, China’s censors have moved quickly to muffle calls for a change in course on Covid-19. The head of the World Health Organization, whose recommendations China once held up as a model, was silenced this week when he called on the country to rethink its strategy.

Photographs and references to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the W.H.O., were promptly scrubbed from the Chinese internet after the statement. The foreign ministry responded by calling Mr. Tedros’s remarks “irresponsible,” and accusing the W.H.O. of not having a “proper understanding of the facts.”

China’s state-controlled media has also glossed over the draconian measures officials have deployed to deal with outbreaks. This week, as some authorities in Shanghai erected new fences around quarantine zones, boarded up more homes and asked residents not to leave their apartments, state media painted a picture of a city slowly returning to normal.

One article described the “hustle and bustle of city life” returning, while another focused on statistics for how many stores had reopened.

has not happened. Several Chinese companies are in the testing phase of a homegrown mRNA option, and China also recently approved for emergency use a Covid-19 antiviral pill made by Pfizer called Paxlovid.

Administering three vaccine shots, using antiviral therapies and offering more effective vaccines could help China find a path out of zero Covid, Mr. Ajelli said.

disappointing winter wheat harvest in June could drive food prices — already high because of the war in Ukraine and bad weather in Asia and the United States — further up, compounding hunger in the world’s poorest countries.

By one estimate, nearly 400 million people in 45 cities have been under some form of lockdown in China in the past month, accounting for $7.2 trillion in annual gross domestic product. Economists are concerned that the lockdowns will have a major impact on growth; one economist has warned that if lockdown measures remain in place for another month, China could enter into a recession.

European and American multinational companies have said they are discussing ways to shift some of their operations out of China. Big companies that increasingly depend on China’s consumer market for growth are also sounding the alarm. Apple said it could see a $4 billion to $8 billion hit to its sales because of the lockdowns.

struggle to find and keep jobs during lockdowns.

Even as daily virus cases in Shanghai are steadily dropping, authorities have tightened measures in recent days following Mr. Xi’s call last week to double down. Officials also began to force entire residential buildings into government isolation if just one resident tested positive.

The new measures are harsher than those early on in the pandemic and have been met with pockets of unrest, previously rare in China where citizens have mostly supported the country’s pandemic policies.

In one video widely circulated online before it was taken down by censors, an exasperated woman shouts as officials in white hazmat suits smash her door down to take her away to an isolation facility. She protests and asks them to give her evidence that she has tested positive. Eventually she takes her phone to call the police.

“If you called the police,” one of the men replies, “I’d still be the one coming.”

Isabelle Qian contributed reporting, and Claire Fu contributed research.

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Dream Office REIT Reports Q1 2022 Results

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DREAM OFFICE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (D.UN-TSX) or (“Dream Office REIT”, the “Trust” or “we”) today announced its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and provided a business update related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

(unaudited)

As at

 

March 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2022

 

 

2021

 

 

2021

Total properties(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of active properties

 

29

 

 

29

 

 

28

Number of properties under development

 

1

 

 

1

 

 

2

Gross leaseable area (“GLA”) (in millions of sq. ft.)

 

5.5

 

 

5.5

 

 

5.5

Investment properties value

$

2,596,240

 

$

2,569,002

 

$

2,473,123

Total portfolio(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occupancy rate – including committed (period-end)

 

85.0%

 

 

85.5%

 

 

87.2%

Occupancy rate – in-place (period-end)

 

81.7%

 

 

82.9%

 

 

85.8%

Average in-place and committed net rent per square foot (period-end)

$

23.25

 

$

23.25

 

$

23.26

Weighted average lease term (“WALT”) (years)

 

5.4

 

 

5.2

 

 

5.0

See footnotes at end.

 

 

Three months ended

 

 

March 31,

 

 

March 31,

 

 

2022

 

 

2021

Operating results

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

$

52,282

 

 

10,146

Funds from operations (“FFO”)(3)

 

21,043

 

 

21,309

Net rental income

 

25,863

 

 

26,271

Comparative properties net operating income (“NOI”)(4)

 

27,320

 

 

28,710

Per unit amounts

 

 

 

 

 

FFO (diluted)(5)

$

0.39

 

 

0.38

Distribution rate

 

0.25

 

 

0.25

See footnotes at end.

“Our business has continued to navigate through uncertainties in the economy and recovery from the pandemic with resilience,” said Michael Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Dream Office REIT. “We think our strategy of focusing on our best assets to improve their quality, reducing carbon emissions, animating the retail and common areas and making our office communities more inclusive will be very well received by our tenants as they return to work and will add value to the portfolio.”

BUSINESS UPDATE

As at March 31, 2022, the Trust had approximately $280 million of available liquidity(6), $170 million of unencumbered assets(7) and a level of debt (net total debt-to-net total assets)(8) of 41.9%. As at March 31, 2022, the Trust had $2.6 billion of investment properties, $8.3 million of cash and cash equivalents, $271.3 million of undrawn credit facilities, $3.1 billion of total assets and $1.3 billion of total debt.

The novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic continues to disrupt the Canadian economy. Repeated states of emergency and lockdowns as a result of emerging variants, most recently public health measures due to the Omicron variant in December 2021 and January 2022, have made it difficult for businesses to plan for the future. The full impact that these disruptions will have on the market for office space in the near term and the wider economy in general is unclear and difficult to predict. However, we believe that there will continue to be demand for high-quality and well-located office space in urban markets in Canada, especially in Toronto, when the economy normalizes. The Trust has ample financial resources to absorb near-term operational challenges and a program to drive value in the business through capital improvements and redevelopments to deliver best-in-class boutique office space to our tenants.

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the construction timelines for the planned Bay Street corridor revitalization, but we are near completion of the interior renovation work, and façade improvements are scheduled to be finished this year. Since 2020, our successful redevelopment program has completed two projects on time and on budget that have significantly increased the value of the redeveloped properties and delivered significant incremental income to the Trust. 357 Bay Street in Toronto downtown was completed in Q4 2020 and in Q1 2022 contributed $3.0 million of annualized comparative properties NOI. Q3 2021 marked the completion of 1900 Sherwood Place in Regina, Saskatchewan, and the commencement of the 25-year Co-operators lease at the property. 1900 Sherwood Place generated $5.2 million of annualized NOI over Q1 2022. We are currently in the process of revitalizing 366 Bay Street in Toronto by fully modernizing the building’s systems, improving the building’s floorplates and upgrading the quality of the common areas. We are targeting a LEED Gold certification, among other certifications, as part of this development project. In addition, we have received zoning approval for 250 Dundas Street West in Toronto, have a zoning application underway for our property at Eglinton Avenue East and Birchmount Road in Scarborough, and are working on a development plan for 212 and 220 King Street West in Toronto.

We hold a stake in Dream Industrial REIT which continues to provide a meaningful contribution to our FFO as a result of the REIT’s successful European expansion and value-add strategy and the monthly distributions provide steady, predictable cash flow to the Trust at a time of uncertainty.

The effect of public health measures put in place as a response to the Omicron variant resulted in fewer property tours, lower building traffic and reduced parking lot utilization relative to Q4 2021. However, we believe that these effects are transitory and that the improvements in the latter half of 2021 will re-emerge during 2022.

During Q1 2022, the Trust executed leases totalling approximately 159,000 square feet across our portfolio. In Toronto downtown, the Trust executed 131,000 square feet of leases including the 54,000 square foot flexible workspace lease discussed previously. The remaining 78,000 square feet of leases were executed at a weighted average net rent of $32.07 per square foot, or 26.0% higher than the weighted average prior net rent per square foot on the same space, with a weighted average lease term of 5.2 years.

In the Other markets region we executed leases totalling 28,000 square feet at a weighted average net rent of $19.42 per square foot, an increase of 0.7% from the weighted average prior net rent on the same space, with a weighted average lease term of 7.2 years. To date, the Trust has secured commitments for approximately 659,000 square feet, or 82%, of 2022 full-year natural lease expiries, consistent with pre-COVID leasing trends. In Toronto downtown, 63,000 square feet, or approximately 1.8% of the region’s gross leaseable area, was being held intentionally vacant for retail repositioning and property improvement purposes as at March 31, 2022 of which the Trust has deals that were subsequently completed, are conditional or are in an advanced state of negotiation totalling 19,000 square feet.

Approximately 2% of the Trust’s total portfolio is currently sublet, with a weighted average in-place net rent of just over $25 per square foot.

The following table summarizes selected operational statistics with respect to the trailing four quarters and the month of April 2022 as at May 5, 2022, all presented as a percentage of recurring contractual gross rent:

 

Cash

Deferral

 

 

collected

arrangements*

Outstanding

Q2 2021

98.4%

0.3%

1.3%

Q3 2021

98.5%

0.2%

1.3%

Q4 2021

98.4%

—%

1.6%

Q1 2022

97.8%

—%

2.2%

April 2022

98.0%

0.1%

1.9%

* Deferral arrangements are presented net of subsequently received cash receipts.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked collaboratively with our tenants to help them manage the challenges within their businesses and be set up for long-term success when the pandemic has passed. The Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy program ended during Q4 2021 and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program was introduced. While the new program is harder for tenants to qualify for, we have not seen any significant change in rent collection patterns since its introduction. In certain instances, the Trust has granted deferrals and rent repayment arrangements to select tenants on a case-by-case basis.

For the three months ended March 31, 2022, the Trust recorded COVID-related provisions totalling approximately $0.6 million which are included in the line item “COVID-related provisions and adjustments” within net rental income. These provision balances represent an estimate of potential credit losses on our trade receivables for all uncollected rent during the three months ended March 31, 2022.

CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS

KEY FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE METRICS

 

 

 

As at

(unaudited)

 

March 31,

 

December 31,

 

 

2022

 

2021

Financing

 

 

 

 

Weighted average face rate of interest on debt (period-end)(9)

 

3.37%

 

3.28%

Interest coverage ratio (times)(10)

 

2.9

 

3.0

Net total debt-to-normalized adjusted EBITDAFV ratio (years)(11)

 

10.4

 

9.8

Level of debt (net total debt-to-net total assets)(8)

 

41.9%

 

41.8%

Average term to maturity on debt (years)

 

3.4

 

3.6

Undrawn credit facilities, available liquidityand unencumbered assets

 

 

 

 

Undrawn credit facilities

$

271.3

$

192.4

Available liquidity (in millions)(6)

 

279.6

 

201.1

Unencumbered assets (in millions)(7)

 

169.6

 

178.3

Capital (period-end)

 

 

 

 

Total number of REIT A and LP B units (in millions)(12)

 

52.3

 

53.3

Net asset value (“NAV”) per unit(13)

$

32.63

$

31.49

See footnotes at end.

“Our partnership with the Canada Infrastructure Bank provides the Trust with a great source of capital to continue to improve our assets to a higher standard while doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our portfolio,” said Jay Jiang, Chief Financial Officer of Dream Office REIT. “The facility will also enhance our liquidity and flexibility of our balance sheet so that we are able to reduce risk while remaining opportunistic.”

CONFERENCE CALL

Dream Office REIT holds semi-annual conference calls following the release of second and fourth quarter results.

OTHER INFORMATION

Information appearing in this press release is a selected summary of results. The condensed consolidated financial statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) of the Trust are available at www.dreamofficereit.ca and on www.sedar.com.

Dream Office REIT is an unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust. Dream Office REIT is a premier office landlord in downtown Toronto with over 3.5 million square feet owned and managed. We have carefully curated an investment portfolio of high-quality assets in irreplaceable locations in one of the finest office markets in the world. We intend to enhance these properties to elevate their desirability to tenants and investors and improve the overall community experience. For more information, please visit our website at www.dreamofficereit.ca.

FOOTNOTES

(1)

Excludes joint ventures that are equity accounted at the end of each period.

(2)

Excludes properties under development and joint ventures that are equity accounted at the end of each period.

(3)

FFO is a non-GAAP financial measure. The most directly comparable financial measure to FFO is net income. The tables included in the Appendices section of this press release reconcile FFO for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and March 31, 2021 to net income. For further information on this non-GAAP measure please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures, Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

(4)

Comparative properties NOI is a non-GAAP financial measure. The most directly comparable financial measure to comparative properties NOI is net rental income. The tables included in the Appendices section of this press release reconcile comparative properties NOI for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and March 31, 2021 to net rental income. For further information on this non-GAAP measure please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures, Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

(5)

Diluted FFO per unit is a non-GAAP ratio. Diluted FFO per unit is calculated as FFO (a non-GAAP financial measure) divided by weighted average number of units. For further information on this non-GAAP ratio, please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures, Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release. A description of the determination of the weighted average number of units can be found in the Trust’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2022 in the section “Supplementary Financial Measures and Other Disclosures” under the heading “Weighted average number of units”.

(6)

Available liquidity is a non-GAAP financial measure. The most directly comparable financial measure to available liquidity is undrawn credit facilities. The tables included in the Appendices section of this press release reconcile available liquidity to undrawn credit facilities as at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021. For further information on this non-GAAP financial measure please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures, Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

(7)

Unencumbered assets is a supplementary financial measure. For further information on this supplementary financial measure, please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures, Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

(8)

Level of debt (net total debt-to-net total assets) is a non-GAAP ratio. Net total debt-to-net total assets comprises net total debt (a non-GAAP financial measure) divided by net total assets (a non-GAAP financial measure). The tables in the appendices section reconcile net total debt and net total assets to total debt and total assets, respectively, as at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021. For further information on this non-GAAP ratio, please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures, Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

(9)

Weighted average face rate of interest on debt is calculated as the weighted average face rate of all interest-bearing debt balances excluding debt in joint ventures that are equity accounted.

(10)

Interest coverage ratio (times) is a non-GAAP ratio. Interest coverage ratio comprises trailing 12-month adjusted EBITDAFV divided by trailing 12-month interest expense on debt. Adjusted EBITDAFV, trailing 12-month Adjusted EBITDAFV and trailing 12-month interest expense on debt are non-GAAP measures. The tables in the Appendices section reconcile adjusted EBITDAFV to net income for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and March 31, 2021 and for the year ended December 31, 2021 and trailing 12-month adjusted EBITDAFV and trailing 12-month interest expense to adjusted EBITDAFV and interest expense, respectively, for the trailing 12-month period ended March 31, 2022. For further information on this non-GAAP ratio, please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

(11)

Net total debt-to-normalized adjusted EBITDAFV ratio (years) is a non-GAAP ratio. Net total debt-to-normalized adjusted EBITDAFV comprises net total debt (a non-GAAP financial measure) divided by normalized adjusted EBITDAFV (a non-GAAP financial measure). Normalized adjusted EBITDAFV comprises adjusted EBITDAFV (a non-GAAP measure) adjusted for NOI from sold properties in the quarter. For further information on this non-GAAP ratio, please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

(12)

Total number of REIT A and LP B units includes 5.2 million LP B Units which are classified as a liability under IFRS.

(13)

NAV per unit is a non-GAAP ratio. NAV per unit is calculated as Total equity (including LP B Units) divided by the total number of REIT A and LP B units outstanding as at the end of the period. Total equity (including LP B Units) is a non-GAAP measure. The most directly comparable financial measure to total equity (including LP B Units) is equity. The tables included in the appendices section of this press release reconcile total equity (including LP B Units) to equity as at March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021. For further information on this non-GAAP measure please refer to the statements under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures, Ratios and Supplementary Financial Measures” in this press release.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES, RATIOS AND SUPPLEMENTARY FINANCIAL MEASURES

The Trust’s condensed consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). In this press release, as a complement to results provided in accordance with IFRS, the Trust discloses and discusses certain non-GAAP financial measures, including FFO, comparative properties NOI and available liquidity, and non-GAAP ratios, including diluted FFO per unit, level of debt (net total debt-to-net total assets), interest coverage ratio, net total debt-to-normalized adjusted EBITDAFV and NAV per unit, as well as other measures discussed elsewhere in this release. These measures and ratios are not standardized financial measures under IFRS and might not be comparable to similar financial measures disclosed by other issuers. The Trust has presented such non-GAAP measures and non-GAAP ratios as Management believes they are relevant measures of the Trust’s underlying operating and financial performance. Certain additional disclosures such as the composition, usefulness and changes, as applicable, of the non-GAAP financial measures and ratios included in this press release have been incorporated by reference from the management’s discussion and analysis of the financial condition and results from operations of the Trust for the three months ended March 31, 2022, dated May 5, 2022 (the “MD&A for the first quarter of 2022”) and can be found under the section “Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Ratios” and respective sub-headings labelled “Funds from operations and diluted FFO per unit”, “Comparative properties NOI”, “Level of debt (net total debt-to-net total assets)”, “Net total debt-to-normalized adjusted EBITDAFV ratio (years)”, “Interest coverage ratio”, “Available liquidity” and “Net asset value (“NAV”) per Unit”. The composition of supplementary financial measures included in this press release have been incorporated by reference from the MD&A for the first quarter of 2022 and can be found under the section “Supplementary financial measures and ratios and other disclosures”. The MD&A for the first quarter of 2022 is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under the Trust’s profile and on the Trust’s website at www.dreamofficereit.ca under the Investors section. Non-GAAP measures should not be considered as alternatives to net income, net rental income, cash flows generated from (utilized in) operating activities, cash and cash equivalents, total assets, non-current debt, total equity, or comparable metrics determined in accordance with IFRS as indicators of the Trust’s performance, liquidity, leverage, cash flow, and profitability. Reconciliations to the nearest comparable financial measure are contained at the end of this press release.

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation, including, but not limited to, statements regarding our objectives and strategies to achieve those objectives, our ability to increase the desirability, occupancy and liquidity of our buildings; the effect of building improvements on tenant experience and building quality and performance; our expectations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the timing of current and prospective tenants return to the office and its effect on our business and financial metrics, including in respect of leasing, building traffic and our revenues; our expectations regarding future demand for office space in urban markets in Canada; our ability to achieve building certifications; anticipated financial performance of tenants with percentage rent arrangements; our development, redevelopment and intensification plans and timelines, and the effect of these plans on the value and quality of our portfolio; our future capital requirements and ability to meet those requirements; our asset management strategies and prospective leasing activity and our overall financial performance, profitability and liquidity for future periods and years. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by words such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “would”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “could”, “likely”, “plan”, “project”, “budget”, or “continue” or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Dream Office REIT’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward-looking information. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general and local economic and business conditions; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Trust; the effect of government restrictions on leasing and building traffic; employment levels; mortgage and interest rates and regulations; the uncertainties around the timing and amount of future financings; leasing risks, including those associated with the ability to lease vacant space; rental rates on future leasing; and interest and currency rate fluctuations. Our objectives and forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions, including that the general economy remains stable, interest rates remain stable, conditions within the real estate market remain consistent, that government restrictions due to COVID-19 on the ability of us and our tenants to operate their businesses at our properties will continue to ease and will not be re-imposed in any material respects, competition for acquisitions remains consistent with the current climate, and that the capital markets continue to provide ready access to equity and/or debt. All forward-looking information in this press release speaks as of the date of this press release. Dream Office REIT does not undertake to update any such forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as required by law. Additional information about these assumptions and risks and uncertainties is contained in Dream Office REIT’s filings with securities regulators, including its latest annual information form and MD&A. These filings are also available at Dream Office REIT’s website at www.dreamofficereit.ca.

APPENDICES

Funds from operations and diluted FFO per unit

 

 

Three months ended March 31,

 

 

 

2022

 

 

2021

Net income for the period

 

$

52,282

 

$

10,146

Add (deduct):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share of net income from investment in Dream Industrial REIT

 

 

(42,899)

 

 

(13,950)

Share of FFO from investment in Dream Industrial REIT

 

 

5,847

 

 

5,034

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

2,986

 

 

3,079

Costs (recovery) attributable to sale of investment properties(1)

 

 

(12)

 

 

1,074

Interest expense on subsidiary redeemable units

 

 

1,308

 

 

1,308

Fair value adjustments to investment properties

 

 

(19,379)

 

 

6,139

Fair value adjustments to investment properties held in joint ventures

 

 

(23)

 

 

(13)

Fair value adjustments to financial instruments and DUIP included in G&A expenses

 

 

20,340

 

 

8,026

Internal leasing costs

 

 

517

 

 

390

Principal repayments on finance lease liabilities

 

 

(13)

 

 

(12)

Deferred income taxes expense (recovery)

 

 

89

 

 

88

FFO for the period

$

21,043

 

$

21,309

Diluted weighted average number of units(2)

 

 

53,688

 

 

56,768

FFO per unit – diluted

 

$

0.39

 

$

0.38

(1)

Includes both continuing and discontinued operations.

(2)

Diluted weighted average number of units includes the weighted average of all REIT A Units, LP B Units, vested but unissued and unvested deferred trust units and associated income deferred trust units.

Comparative properties NOI

 

Three months ended

Change

in

weighted

average

occupancy %

Change

in

in-place

net rents

%

 

March 31,

 

March 31,

 

 

Change

 

2022

 

2021

 

 

Amount

 

%

Toronto downtown

$

21,630

 

$

23,511

 

$

(1,881)

 

(8.0)

 

(8.2)

 

3.4

Other markets

 

5,690

 

 

5,199

 

 

491

 

9.4

 

4.3

 

(4.0)

Comparative properties NOI

 

27,320

 

 

28,710

 

 

(1,390)

 

(4.8)

 

(3.9)

 

0.5

1900 Sherwood Place

 

1,289

 

 

10

 

 

1,279

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property under development

 

(55)

 

 

(43)

 

 

(12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property management and other service fees

 

431

 

 

326

 

 

105

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-related provisions and adjustments

 

(602)

 

 

169

 

 

(771)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight-line rent

 

129

 

 

27

 

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amortization of lease incentives

 

(2,902)

 

 

(2,930)

 

 

28

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lease termination fees and other

 

253

 

 

(28)

 

 

281

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sold properties

 

 

 

30

 

 

(30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net rental income from continuing operations

$

25,863

 

$

26,271

 

$

(408)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available liquidity

 

 

As at

 

 

March 31,

 

December 31,

 

 

2022

 

2021

Undrawn credit facilities

$

271,337

$

192,355

Cash and cash equivalents

 

8,302

 

8,763

Available liquidity

$

279,639

$

201,118

Level of debt (net total debt-to-net total assets)

 

Amounts included in condensed consolidated financial statements

 

March 31,

 

December 31,

 

 

2022

 

 

2021

Non-current debt

$

1,236,423

 

$

1,206,734

Current debt

 

79,203

 

 

76,539

Total debt

 

1,315,626

 

 

1,283,273

Less: Cash on hand

 

(6,627)

 

 

(5,556)

Net total debt

$

1,308,999

 

$

1,277,717

Total assets

 

3,127,608

 

 

3,065,560

Less: Cash on hand

 

(6,627)

 

 

(5,556)

Net total assets

$

3,120,981

 

$

3,060,004

Net total debt-to-net total assets

 

41.9%

 

 

41.8%

Adjusted EBITDAFV

 

Three months ended

 

Year ended

 

March 31,

 

March 31,

 

December 31,

 

 

2022

 

 

2021

 

 

2021

Net income for the period

$

52,282

 

$

10,146

 

$

154,207

Add (deduct):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest – debt

 

11,259

 

 

10,884

 

 

43,372

Interest – subsidiary redeemable units

 

1,308

 

 

1,308

 

 

5,234

Current and deferred income taxes expense (recovery), net

 

124

 

 

88

 

 

(203)

Depreciation on property and equipment

 

130

 

 

242

 

 

897

Fair value adjustments to investment properties

 

(19,379)

 

 

6,139

 

 

(47,926)

Fair value adjustments to financial instruments

 

20,282

 

 

8,152

 

 

29,922

Share of net income from investment in Dream Industrial REIT

 

(42,899)

 

 

(13,950)

 

 

(90,645)

Distributions received from Dream Industrial REIT

 

4,655

 

 

4,655

 

 

18,622

Share of net loss from investment in joint ventures

 

72

 

 

16

 

 

340

Non-cash items included in investment properties revenue(1)

 

2,773

 

 

2,903

 

 

11,217

Government assistance and COVID-related provisions

 

602

 

 

(169)

 

 

482

Lease termination fees and other

 

(253)

 

 

28

 

 

(836)

Net losses (gains) on transactions and other items(2)

 

505

 

 

1,464

 

 

3,732

Adjusted EBITDAFV for the period

$

31,461

 

$

31,906

 

$

128,415

(1)

Includes adjustments for straight-line rent and amortization of lease incentives.

(2)

Includes both continuing and discontinued operations.

Trailing 12-month Adjusted EBITDAFV and trailing 12-month interest expense on debt

 

Trailing 12-month period

 

ended March 31, 2022

Adjusted EBITDAFV for the three months ended March 31, 2022

 

$

31,461

Add: Adjusted EBITDAFV for the year ended December 31, 2021

 

 

128,415

Less: Adjusted EBITDAFV for the three months ended March 31, 2021

 

 

(31,906)

Trailing 12-month Adjusted EBITDAFV

 

$

127,970

 

Trailing 12-month period

 

ended March 31, 2022

Interest expense on debt for the three months ended March 31, 2022

 

$

11,259

Add: Interest expense on debt for the year ended December 31, 2021

 

 

43,372

Less: Interest expense on debt for the three months ended March 31, 2021

 

 

(10,884)

Trailing 12-month interest expense on debt

 

$

43,747

Interest coverage ratio (times)

 

For the trailing 12-month period ended

 

March 31,

 

 

December 31,

 

2022

 

 

2021

Trailing 12-month Adjusted EBITDAFV

$

127,970

 

$

128,415

Interest expense on debt

$

43,747

 

$

43,372

Interest coverage ratio (times)

 

2.9

 

 

3.0

Net total debt-to-normalized adjusted EBITDAFV ratio (years)

 

March 31,

December 31,

 

 

2022

 

2021

Non-current debt

 

$

1,236,423

$

1,206,734

Current debt

 

 

79,203

 

76,539

Total debt

 

 

1,315,626

 

1,283,273

Less: Cash on hand(1)

 

 

(6,627)

 

(5,556)

Net total debt

 

$

1,308,999

$

1,277,717

Adjusted EBITDAFV – quarterly

 

 

31,461

 

32,534

Less: NOI of disposed properties for the quarter

 

 

 

(4)

Normalized adjusted EBITDAFV – quarterly

 

$

31,461

$

32,530

Normalized adjusted EBITDAFV – annualized

 

$

125,844

$

130,120

Net total debt-to-normalized adjusted EBITDAFV ratio (years)

 

 

10.4

 

9.8

(1)

Cash on hand represents cash on hand at period-end, excluding cash held in co-owned properties and joint ventures that are equity accounted.

NAV per unit

 

 

 

Unitholders’ equity

 

 

 

March 31, 2022

 

December 31, 2021

 

 

 

Number of Units

 

 

Amount

 

Number of Units

 

 

Amount

Unitholders’ equity

 

 

47,029,715

 

$

1,857,974

 

48,034,754

 

$

1,883,653

Deficit

 

 

 

 

(298,149)

 

 

 

(338,593)

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)

 

 

 

 

(347)

 

 

 

3,268

Equity per condensed consolidated financial statements

47,029,715

 

 

1,559,478

 

48,034,754

 

 

1,548,328

Add: LP B Units

 

 

5,233,823

 

 

145,867

 

5,233,823

 

 

128,909

Total equity (including LP B Units)

 

 

52,263,538

 

$

1,705,345

 

53,268,577

 

$

1,677,237

NAV per unit

 

 

 

 

$

32.63

 

 

 

$

31.49

 

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INDUS Announces 2022 First Quarter Leasing and Pipeline Updates

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–INDUS Realty Trust, Inc. (Nasdaq: INDT) (“INDUS” or the “Company”), a U.S. based industrial/logistics REIT, announced the following updates on leasing, its acquisition pipeline, development pipeline and dispositions for the three months ended March 31, 2022 (the “2022 first quarter”)1:

Highlights

Leasing Activity3

INDUS reported the following second generation leasing metrics for the 2022 first quarter:

 

 

 

Number of

Leases

 

 

 

Square Feet

Weighted Avg.

Lease Term

in Years

Weighted Avg.

Lease Costs

PSF per Year4

Weighted Avg. Rent Growth5

 

 

Straight-line

Basis

 

 

Cash Basis

New Leases

1

10,000

5.0

$0.49

46.3%

28.6%

Renewals

1

38,846

2.1

$0.13

12.6%

12.1%

Total / Avg.

2

48,846

2.7

$0.62

18.5%

15.0%

In addition to the above leases signed during the period, INDUS also executed a first generation lease with the existing tenant to expand into the balance of the Charleston, South Carolina property acquired in November 2021. This lease totaled approximately 84,000 square feet and is expected to commence in June 2022.

As of March 31, 2022, INDUS’ 36 buildings aggregated approximately 5.4 million square feet. INDUS’ portfolio percentage leased and percentage leased of stabilized properties were as follows:

 

Mar. 31,

2022

Dec. 31,

2021

Sept. 30,

2021

June 30,

2021

Percentage Leased

100.0%

98.4%

95.4%

95.3%

Percentage Leased – Stabilized Properties

100.0%

100.0%

99.4%

99.4%

Acquisition Pipeline

During the 2022 first quarter, INDUS completed the acquisition of a recently constructed, 217,000 square foot building in the Charlotte, North Carolina market (“782 Paragon Way”). 782 Paragon Way is fully leased on a short-term basis through July 2022 with in-place rents that we believe are below current market rates. The Company expects that 782 Paragon Way will be re-leased to stabilize at an approximate 4.7% cash capitalization rate. The Company used cash on hand to pay the $23.6 million purchase price, before transaction costs.

Also during the 2022 first quarter, the Company announced that it entered into a purchase agreement to acquire a to-be-constructed, approximately 280,000 square foot building in the Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina market (the “Greenville/Spartanburg Acquisition”), which is being developed on speculation by the seller. The Greenville/Spartanburg Acquisition is expected to be delivered upon completion in the 2023 first quarter and would be the Company’s first entry into this market.

The following is a summary of INDUS’ acquisition pipeline as of March 31, 2022:

 

 

Acquisition

 

 

Market

 

Building Size (SF)

 

 

Type

Purchase Price

(in millions)

 

Expected
Closing

Acquisitions Under Contract

 

 

 

 

 

Nashville Acquisition (two buildings)

Nashville, TN

184,000

Forward (42.9%

pre-leased)

$31.5

Q2 2022

Charleston Forward Acquisition (one building)

Charleston, SC

263,000

Forward

$28.0

Q4 2022

Greenville-Spartanburg Acquisition

(one building)

Greenville-Spartanburg, SC

280,000

Forward

$28.5

Q1 2023

Charlotte Forward Acquisition (one building)

Charlotte, NC

231,000

Forward

$21.2

Q2 2023

Subtotal – Acquisitions Under Contract

958,000

 

$109.2

 

The acquisitions in INDUS’ pipeline are each subject to certain remaining contingencies. There can be no guarantee that these transactions will be completed under their current terms, anticipated timelines, or at all.

Development Pipeline

The following is a summary of INDUS’ development pipeline as of March 31, 2022:

 

Name

 

Market

Building Size (SF)

 

Type

Expected Delivery

Owned Land

 

 

 

 

Chapmans Road (one building)

Lehigh Valley, PA

103,000

66% Pre-leased

Q2 2022

110 Tradeport Drive (one building)

Hartford, CT

234,000

67% Pre-leased

Q3 2022

Landstar Logistics (two buildings)

Orlando, FL

195,000

Speculative

Q3 2022

American Parkway (one building)

Lehigh Valley, PA

206,000

Speculative

Q2 2023

 

 

 

 

 

Land Under Purchase & Sale Agreement

Lehigh Valley Land parcel (one building)

Lehigh Valley, PA

90,000

Speculative

Q3 2023

Total Development Pipeline

 

828,000

 

 

INDUS expects that the total development and stabilization costs of developments in its pipeline will total approximately $96.0 million (including all amounts previously spent). The Company estimates that the underwritten weighted average stabilized Cash NOI yield on its development pipeline is between 6.0% – 6.5%.6 Actual initial full year stabilized Cash NOI yields may vary from INDUS’ estimated underwritten stabilized Cash NOI yield range based on the actual total cost to complete a project or acquire a property and its actual initial full year stabilized Cash NOI.

Closing on the purchase of the Lehigh Valley Land parcel and the completion and stabilization of the projects in the development pipeline are each subject to a number of contingencies. There can be no guarantee that these transactions and developments will be completed under their current terms, anticipated timelines, at the Company’s estimated underwritten yields, or at all.

Disposition Pipeline

During the 2022 first quarter, INDUS commenced the sale process to fully exit its legacy investment in its remaining office/flex properties (“Office/Flex Portfolio”). The Office/Flex Portfolio is comprised of seven buildings totaling approximately 175,000 square feet located in Windsor and Bloomfield, Connecticut. Additionally, INDUS intends to sell an approximate 18,000 square foot storage building that is located within the same business park. Following the sale of the Office/Flex Portfolio, INDUS is expected to be a pure-play industrial/logistics REIT.

About INDUS

INDUS is a real estate business principally engaged in developing, acquiring, managing, and leasing industrial/logistics properties. INDUS owns 36 buildings aggregating approximately 5.4 million square feet in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

Forward-Looking Statements:

This Press Release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements include INDUS’ beliefs and expectations regarding future events or conditions including, without limitation, statements regarding the completion of acquisitions under agreements, pre-leasing agreements, construction and development plans and timelines, expected total development and stabilization costs of developments in INDUS’ pipeline, the estimated underwritten stabilized Cash NOI yield of the Company’s development pipeline, the Company’s intention to exit its office/flex portfolio, and expected capital availability and liquidity. Although INDUS believes that its plans, intentions and expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. The projected information disclosed herein is based on assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by INDUS as of the date hereof, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive and regulatory uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of INDUS, and which could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Other important factors that could affect the outcome of the events set forth in these statements are described in INDUS’ Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including the “Business,” “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” sections in INDUS’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on March 11, 2022, as updated by other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. INDUS disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release except as required by law.

1 Portfolio information and statistics are comprised solely of the Company’s industrial/logistics buildings and excludes the Company’s office/flex portfolio and other properties held for sale.

2 Stabilized properties reflect buildings that have reached 90% leased or have been in service for at least one year since development completion or acquisition date, whichever is earlier.

3 Leasing metrics exclude new and renewal leases which have an initial term of twelve months or less, as well as leases for first generation space on properties acquired or developed by INDUS. Leasing metrics also exclude leases tied to properties undergoing redevelopment or repositioning. During the 2022 first quarter, INDUS commenced the repositioning of 52,000 square feet in Connecticut from principally office use to an industrial/logistics use. During the 2022 first quarter, the Company entered into a 7-year lease with a new industrial/logistics tenant to occupy that space upon the completion of its repositioning. The existing tenant in that space will pay an early termination fee of approximately $7.40 per square foot upon completion of the work related to the repositioning.

4 Lease cost per square foot per year reflects total lease costs (tenant improvements, leasing commissions and legal costs) per square foot per year of the lease term.

5 Weighted average rent growth reflects the percentage change of annualized rental rates between the previous leases and the current leases. The rental rate change on a straight-line basis represents average annual base rental payments on a straight-line basis for the term of each lease including free rent periods. Cash basis rent growth represents the change in starting rental rates per the lease agreement on new and renewed leases signed during the period, as compared to the previous ending rental rates for that same space. The cash rent growth calculation excludes free rent periods.

6 As a part of INDUS’ standard development and acquisition underwriting process, INDUS analyzes the targeted initial full year stabilized Cash NOI yield for each development project and acquisition target and establishes a range of initial full year stabilized Cash NOI yields, which it refers to as “underwritten stabilized Cash NOI yields.” Underwritten stabilized Cash NOI yields are calculated as a development project’s or acquisition’s initial full year stabilized Cash NOI as a percentage of its estimated total investment, including costs to stabilize the buildings to 95% occupancy (other than in connection with build-to-suit development projects and single tenant properties). INDUS calculates initial full year stabilized Cash NOI for a development project or acquisition by subtracting its estimate of the development project’s or acquisition’s initial full year stabilized operating expenses, real estate taxes and non-cash rental revenue, including straight-line rents (before interest, income taxes, if any, and depreciation and amortization), from its estimate of its initial full year stabilized rental revenue.

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Inflation Rises to 7.9 Percent for February 2022

Prices climbed at the fastest pace in decades in the month leading up to the war in Ukraine, underlining the high stakes facing the United States — along with many developed economies — as the conflict promises to drive costs higher.

The Consumer Price Index rose by 7.9 percent through February, the fastest pace of annual inflation in 40 years. Rising food and rent costs contributed to the big increase, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, as did a nascent surge in gas prices that will become more pronounced in the March inflation report.

The February report caught only the start of the surge in gas prices that came in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late last month. Economists expect inflation to pick up even more in March because prices at the pump have since jumped to record-breaking highs. The average price for a gallon of gas was $4.32 on Thursday, according to AAA.

Rapidly climbing costs are hitting consumers in the pocketbook, causing confidence to fall and stretching household budgets. Rising wages and savings amassed during the pandemic have helped many families continue spending despite rising prices, but the burden is falling most intensely on lower-income households, which devote a big chunk of their budgets to daily necessities that are now swiftly becoming more expensive.

signaled it will raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point at its meeting next week, probably the first in a series of moves meant to increase the cost of borrowing and spending money and slow down the economy. By reducing consumption and slowing the labor market, the Fed is able to take some pressure off inflation over time.

Broadening price pressures and high gas costs could become a serious issue for central bank policymakers if they help convince consumers that the run-up in prices will last. If people begin expecting inflation, they may change their behavior in ways that make it more permanent: accepting price increases more readily, and asking for bigger raises to keep up.

“It was another bad report,” said Laura Rosner-Warburton, senior economist at MacroPolicy Perspectives. “Inflation was already way too high before the invasion of Ukraine.”

keep shipping routes tangled and parts scarce. Ukraine is an important producer of neon, which could keep computer chips in short supply, perpetuating the shortages that have plagued automakers. Higher energy costs could ricochet through other industries.

Even without further supply chain troubles, there are signs that inflation is widening beyond a few pandemic-affected sectors, an indication that they could last as the latest virus surge fades from view. Rent of primary residences, for instance, climbed by 0.6 percent from the prior month — the fastest monthly pace of growth since 1999.

Price gains have been rapid around much of the world, causing many central banks to scale back how much help they are providing to their economies. The European Central Bank on Thursday decided to speed up its exit from its bond-buying program as it tries to counter rising inflation. Europe’s push to end its energy dependence on Russia promises to raise costs at a time when inflation is already nearly triple the central bank’s target.

a separate inflation index, but one that is also up considerably.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

For someone who was a longtime Manhattanite, that’s a real loss, Mr. Gutbrod, 61, said. He used to enjoy three restaurant brunches or dinners each week. Now it’s more like one every two weeks.

“I used to go on relaxing drives,” he said, but now joy rides are unaffordable. “I’m on a shoestring budget, and I work pretty hard. For anyone who doesn’t make a lot of money, you have to be intelligent and start cutting corners.”

As it disturbs everyday lives, inflation is likely to dog Democrats and the administration as they fight to retain control of Congress in November. Despite plentiful jobs and quickly rising wages, consumer confidence has fallen to itslowest level since the summer of 2011, when the economy was clambering back from the global financial crisis and Congress was bickering over lifting the nation’s debt ceiling.

That probably at least partly reflects the reality that pay is not quite keeping up with inflation for the typical worker, and that consumers are paying more at the pump, which tends to be a very salient cost for Americans.

In February, the cost of food rose, which is also difficult for consumers on tight budgets. Over the past year, grocery prices have increased by 8.6 percent, the largest yearly jump since the period ending in April 1981. Fresh fruit and dairy products became notably more expensive last month.

The White House has emphasized that it is trying to offset rising costs to the degree that it can.

“We’ve taken steps to address bottlenecks in the supply chain, to reduce those bottlenecks,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said this week.

But those changes have mostly helped around the edges, and as prices have shown little sign of moderating on their own, Fed officials have coalesced around the view that they will need to use their policies to cool off demand and keep today’s rapid inflation from becoming entrenched. That may limit the central bank’s room to react to any slowdown in growth prompted by uncertainty and high gas prices.

“They need to stay on track,” said Ms. Rosner-Warburton. “They don’t have as much leeway to respond to these risks, given how elevated inflation is.”

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With Remote Work, Women Decide Who Knows They’re Pregnant

For the past nine months, I have been pregnant. But I have not — for the most part — been pregnant at work.

In the beginning, when I felt nauseous, I threw up in my own bathroom. Saltine crackers became a constant companion but remained out of view of my Zoom camera. A couple of months later, I switched from jeans to leggings without any comment from my co-workers.

And as my baby grew from the size of a lemon to a grapefruit to a cantaloupe, the box through which my colleagues see me on video calls cropped out my basketball-sized gut.

Outside the virtual office, an airport security screener scolded me for trying to pick up a suitcase, cashiers became extra nice and strangers informed me of how big or small or wide or high my belly was.

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

commonplace.

And research suggests that pregnant women tend to be seen as less competent, more needing of accommodation, and less committed to work as compared with women who don’t have children, said Eden King, a professor of psychology at Rice University who studies how pregnancy affects women in the workplace.

Similar stereotypes affect mothers — 63 percent of whom are working while their youngest child is under three, according to the Labor Department — but pregnancy is a more visible identity, said Ms. King. “It can be a very physical characteristic in a way that motherhood isn’t,” she said. “So some of those experiences and expectations may be exacerbated.”

In interviews with 10 pregnant or recently pregnant remote workers for this article, several women said that being visibly pregnant in real life but not on a work Zoom screen helped them feel more confident and less apprehensive about what parenthood might mean for their career. Christine Glandorf, who works in education technology and is due with her first child this month, said that like many professionals on the brink of parenthood, she worried that people’s expectations of her in the workplace could change. Remote work solves part of that equation.

“It’s nice that it’s literally not in people’s face in any way, shape or form unless I choose for it to be a part of the conversation,” she said.

a study published in the journal Personnel Psychology in 2020, Ms. King and her colleagues asked more than 100 pregnant women in a variety of industries to track how much their supervisors, without having been asked for help, did things like assign them less work so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed or protect them from unpleasant news.

Women who received more unwanted help reported feeling less capable at work, and they were more likely to want to quit nine months postpartum.

“The more you experienced those seemingly positive but actually benevolently sexist behaviors, the less you believed in yourself,” Ms. King said.

Journal of Applied Psychology in 2019, examined this apparent shift in treatment.

believe women and men should be treated equally at work and at home, mothers in opposite-sex relationships still handle a majority of the housework and child care. The same pattern holds for parental leave. While almost half of men support the idea of paid paternity leave, fewer than five percent take more than two weeks.

In 2004, California began a paid family leave program that provides a portion of a new parent’s salary for up to eight weeks. Though the program offers the same benefit to both new fathers and new mothers, a 2016 study found that it increased the leave women took by almost five weeks and the leave that men took by two to three days.

That was the disparity when new fathers actually had an option to take paid paternity leave. Most don’t. Paid leave is still uncommon for both men and women. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, 23 percent of all private industry workers had access to parental leave, up from 11 percent 10 years earlier. Although the Department of Labor stopped differentiating between maternity and paternity leave in its data more than 25 years ago, other surveys suggest that paid leave is far more uncommon for fathers.

These inequalities are one reason the gender pay gap, even between spouses, widens after women have children.

The virtual office may be relatively new, but women have long thought about how to shape their colleagues’ perception of their pregnancies. In a 2015 study conducted by Ms. Little, researchers interviewed 35 women about their experience being pregnant at work.

companies summon people back to the office, fewer people will have that choice. But there is part of the remote work pregnancy experience that can be replicated offline, Ms. King said.

“Some women do need help, and some women do want accommodations,” she said. But “you have to ask women what they want and what they need and not assume that we know.”

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Service Properties Trust Announces Fourth Quarter 2021 Results

NEWTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Service Properties Trust (Nasdaq: SVC) today announced its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2021.

John Murray, President and Chief Executive Officer of SVC, made the following statement:

The fourth quarter marked a period of stability in the overall recovery for SVC’s hotel portfolio, as normal seasonality and the impact of the Omicron variant late in the quarter were offset by solid extended stay occupancy and continued leisure demand. SVC’s comparable RevPAR for the 2021 fourth quarter came in ahead of our expectations at 72.1% of the pre-COVID-19 comparable RevPAR for the 2019 fourth quarter. With weekly COVID-19 cases again on the decline, we expect to benefit from a rebound in business travel in the coming quarters, particularly at our full service hotels as urban centers re-open. Our net lease portfolio continues to provide steady cash flows driven by our diverse mix of tenants and industries.

We have either closed or are under contract for $430 million of our previously announced hotel sales at pricing that has been in line with our expectations. We expect these and the balance of the announced sales to close over the next few months. Approximately 72.1% of the sale hotels will be sold encumbered by Sonesta branding, maintaining Sonesta’s distribution and jump starting franchising of the Sonesta brands, which we believe will benefit SVC. With expected proceeds from our hotel sales of over $560 million, over $940 million of cash on our balance sheet and positive cash flow from our hotel portfolio before capital expenditures, we believe we have sufficient liquidity and financial flexibility to address our upcoming debt maturities, as well as an improved hotel portfolio that is well positioned to benefit SVC as lodging trends continue to rebound.”

 

Results for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2021:

 

 

Three Months Ended December 31,

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

($ in thousands, except per share data)

Net loss

$

(198,793

)

 

$

(137,740

)

Net loss per common share

$

(1.21

)

 

$

(0.84

)

Normalized FFO (1)

$

27,936

 

 

$

(22,474

)

Normalized FFO per common share (1)

$

0.17

 

 

$

(0.14

)

Adjusted EBITDAre (1)

$

118,997

 

 

$

64,953

 

(1) Additional information and reconciliations of net loss determined in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, to certain non-GAAP measures, including FFO, Normalized FFO, EBITDA, EBITDAre and Adjusted EBITDAre for the quarters ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 appear later in this press release.

 

Hotel Portfolio:

As of December 31, 2021, SVC’s 303 hotels were operated by subsidiaries of Sonesta Holdco Corporation, or Sonesta (261 hotels), Hyatt Hotels Corporation, or Hyatt (17 hotels), Radisson Hospitality, Inc., or Radisson (eight hotels), Marriott International, Inc., or Marriott (16 hotels), and InterContinental Hotels Group, plc, or IHG (one hotel).

 

 

 

Three Months Ended December 31,

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

Change

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

Change

 

 

($ in thousands, except hotel statistics)

Comparable Hotels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. of hotels

 

 

298

 

 

 

298

 

 

 

 

 

280

 

 

 

280

 

 

 

No. of rooms or suites

 

 

46,920

 

 

 

46,920

 

 

 

 

 

42,101

 

 

 

42,101

 

 

 

Occupancy

 

 

55.9

%

 

 

39.9

%

 

16.0 pts

 

 

54.2

%

 

 

44.1

%

 

10.1 pts

ADR

 

$

110.26

 

 

$

87.30

 

 

26.3

%

 

$

98.07

 

 

$

96.84

 

 

1.3

%

Hotel RevPAR

 

$

61.64

 

 

$

34.83

 

 

77.0

%

 

$

53.15

 

 

$

42.71

 

 

24.4

%

Hotel operating revenues (1)

 

$

303,507

 

 

$

166,843

 

 

81.9

%

 

$

884,460

 

 

$

726,757

 

 

21.7

%

Hotel operating expenses (1)

 

$

267,182

 

 

$

193,329

 

 

38.2

%

 

$

822,470

 

 

$

727,724

 

 

13.0

%

Hotel EBITDA (1)

 

$

36,325

 

 

$

(26,486

)

 

n/m

 

 

$

61,990

 

 

$

(967

)

 

n/m

 

Adjusted Hotel EBITDA (1)

 

$

36,325

 

 

$

(26,817

)

 

n/m

 

 

$

61,990

 

 

$

(1,298

)

 

n/m

 

Hotel EBITDA margin

 

 

12.0

%

 

 

(16.1

) %

 

n/m

 

 

 

7.0

%

 

 

(0.2

) %

 

n/m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Hotels (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. of hotels

 

 

303

 

 

 

310

 

 

(7

)

 

 

303

 

 

 

310

 

 

(7

)

No. of rooms or suites

 

 

48,346

 

 

 

49,014

 

 

(668

)

 

 

48,346

 

 

 

49,014

 

 

(668

)

Occupancy

 

 

55.2

%

 

 

39.8

%

 

15.4 pts

 

 

53.0

%

 

 

42.0

%

 

11.0 pts

ADR

 

$

112.30

 

 

$

87.53

 

 

28.3

%

 

$

105.36

 

 

$

100.77

 

 

4.6

%

Hotel RevPAR

 

$

61.99

 

 

$

34.84

 

 

77.9

%

 

$

55.84

 

 

$

42.32

 

 

31.9

%

Hotel operating revenues (1)

 

$

317,215

 

 

$

176,418

 

 

79.8

%

 

$

1,104,678

 

 

$

888,741

 

 

24.3

%

Hotel operating expenses (1)

 

$

288,825

 

 

$

206,521

 

 

39.9

%

 

$

1,033,463

 

 

$

943,064

 

 

9.6

%

Hotel EBITDA (1)

 

$

28,390

 

 

$

(30,103

)

 

n/m

 

 

$

71,215

 

 

$

(54,323

)

 

n/m

 

Adjusted Hotel EBITDA (1)

 

$

28,390

 

 

$

(26,141

)

 

n/m

 

 

$

71,215

 

 

$

(50,361

)

 

n/m

 

Hotel EBITDA margin

 

 

8.9

%

 

 

(3.1

) %

 

n/m

 

 

 

6.4

%

 

 

(5.7

) %

 

n/m

 

(1) Reconciliations of hotel operating revenues and hotel operating expenses used to determine Hotel EBITDA and Adjusted Hotel EBITDA from hotel operating revenues and hotel operating expenses determined in accordance with GAAP for the quarters ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 appear later in this press release.

(2) Results of all hotels as owned during the periods presented, including the results of hotels sold by SVC for the period owned by SVC.

 

Recent operating statistics for SVC’s hotels are as follows:

 

Comparable Hotels

 

 

 

298 Hotels, 46,919 rooms

 

2021 vs 2019

 

 

Occupancy

 

Average Daily Rate

 

RevPAR

 

Occupancy

 

Average Daily Rate

 

RevPAR

October

 

61.3 %

 

$114.35

 

$70.10

 

(16.6) pts

 

(13.3) %

 

(31.7) %

November

 

56.1 %

 

$107.95

 

$60.56

 

(13.4) pts

 

(12.2) %

 

(29.1) %

December

 

50.6 %

 

$107.95

 

$54.62

 

(9.1) pts

 

(6.0) %

 

(20.3) %

 
 

All Hotels

 

 

 

303 Hotels, 48,346 rooms

 

2021 vs 2019

 

 

Occupancy

 

Average Daily Rate

 

RevPAR

 

Occupancy

 

Average Daily Rate

 

RevPAR

October

 

60.5 %

 

$116.18

 

$70.29

 

(17.0) pts

 

(13.2) %

 

(32.3) %

November

 

55.4 %

 

$109.59

 

$60.71

 

(13.7) pts

 

(12.0) %

 

(29.5) %

December

 

50.1 %

 

$110.64

 

$55.43

 

(9.4) pts

 

(5.8) %

 

(20.7) %

 

For SVC’s 302 hotels owned as of February 24, 2022, January 2022 occupancy, ADR and RevPAR were 45.6%, $105.11 and $47.93, respectively.

Hotel Agreements:

As previously announced, on January 7, 2022, SVC and Sonesta amended and restated their management agreements effective January 1, 2022. The amendments to the agreements are substantially the same as those made earlier in 2021 to the agreements for SVC’s Hyatt and Radisson portfolios and the amendments made to SVC’s agreements with Sonesta in 2020 for certain Sonesta hotels. As of January 1, 2022, SVC owned 261 hotels managed by Sonesta and 67 of these hotels are expected to be sold, or the sale hotels. Among other things, the amendments to the agreements between SVC and Sonesta for 194 hotels, or the retained hotels, are as follows:

For the sale hotels, the term was extended to the earlier of December 31, 2022 or until the hotels are sold and the FF&E reserve funding requirement was removed. SVC’s owner’s priority return will be reduced by the current owner’s priority return for a sale hotel once sold. The total owner’s priority for all the sale hotels is $84.7 million.

Net Lease Retail Portfolio:

SVC’s net lease retail portfolio is summarized as follows:

 

 

 

As of December 31, 2021

Number of properties

 

788

Industries

 

21

Tenants

 

174

Brands

 

134

Square feet

 

13.5 million

Occupancy

 

98.1%

Weighted average lease term (by annual minimum rent)

 

10.2 years

Rent Coverage

 

2.58x

 

During the quarter ended December 31, 2021, SVC reduced its reserve for uncollectible revenues by $0.6 million for certain of its net lease tenants. During the quarter ended December 31, 2020, SVC recorded reserves for uncollectible revenues of $4.5 million for certain of its net lease tenants.

Recent Investment Activities:

During the quarter ended December 31, 2021, SVC sold one hotel with 93 keys for a sales price of $8.5 million, excluding closing costs, and six net lease properties with an aggregate of 52,596 rentable square feet for an aggregate sales price of $9.1 million, excluding closing costs. In January 2022, SVC sold 1 hotel with 295 keys for a sales price of $19.0 million, excluding closing costs.

SVC has entered into agreements to sell 45 Sonesta branded hotels (35 extended stay hotels with 4,185 keys, 9 select service hotels with 1,114 keys and one full service hotels with 381 keys) located in 21 states with an aggregate net carrying value of $352.5 million as of December 31, 2021 for an aggregate sales price of $402.4 million. SVC expects to enter agreements to sell 19 additional Sonesta branded hotels with 2,420 keys with an aggregate carrying value of $125.6 million as of December 31, 2021 for an aggregate sales price of $131.9 million. SVC expects these sales to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2022. SVC continues to market two additional hotels with 272 keys for sale. SVC currently expects that approximately 72.1% of the sale hotels will be sold encumbered by Sonesta branding, maintaining Sonesta’s distribution and jump-starting franchising of the Sonesta brands, which SVC believes it will benefit from through its 34% ownership of Sonesta.

Capital expenditures made at certain of SVC’s properties for the quarter ended December 31, 2021 were $30.4 million.

Liquidity and Financing Activities:

As of December 31, 2021, SVC had $944.0 million of cash and cash equivalents.

SVC’s $1 billion revolving credit facility matures on July 15, 2022 and SVC is currently in discussions with its lenders regarding an extension of the maturity date of the facility and additional covenant waivers. There is no assurance SVC will come to terms with its lenders or that it will be granted such additional covenant relief.

Conference Call:

On February 25, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, John Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Brian Donley, Chief Financial Officer, and Todd Hargreaves, Chief Investment Officer, will host a conference call to discuss SVC’s fourth quarter 2021 financial results. The conference call telephone number is (877) 329-3720. Participants calling from outside the United States and Canada should dial (412) 317-5434. No pass code is necessary to access the call from either number. Participants should dial in about 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call. A replay of the conference call will be available through Friday, March 4, 2022. To access the replay, dial (412) 317-0088. The replay pass code is 8820658.

A live audio webcast of the conference call will also be available in a listen-only mode on SVC’s website, www.svcreit.com. Participants wanting to access the webcast should visit SVC’s website about five minutes before the call. The archived webcast will be available for replay on SVC’s website for about one week after the call. The transcription, recording and retransmission in any way of SVC’s fourth quarter conference call is strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of SVC.

Supplemental Data:

A copy of SVC’s Fourth Quarter 2021 Supplemental Operating and Financial Data is available for download at SVC’s website, www.svcreit.com. SVC’s website is not incorporated as part of this press release.

Service Properties Trust (Nasdaq: SVC) is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, with more than $12 billion invested in two asset categories: hotels and service-focused retail net lease properties. As of December 31, 2021, SVC owned 303 hotels with over 48,000 guest rooms throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico and Canada, the majority of which are extended stay and select service. As of December 31, 2021, SVC also owned 788 retail service-focused net lease properties totaling over 13 million square feet throughout United States. SVC is managed by The RMR Group (Nasdaq: RMR), an alternative asset management company with more than $33 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2021 and more than 35 years of institutional experience in buying, selling, financing and operating commercial real estate. SVC is headquartered in Newton, MA. For more information, visit www.svcreit.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Certain Definitions:

SVC presents certain “non-GAAP financial measures” within the meaning of the applicable Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, rules, including funds from operations, or FFO, Normalized FFO, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, Hotel EBITDA, Adjusted Hotel EBITDA, EBITDA for real estate, or EBITDAre, and Adjusted EBITDAre. These measures do not represent cash generated by operating activities in accordance with GAAP and should not be considered alternatives to net income (loss) as indicators of SVC’s operating performance or as measures of SVC’s liquidity. These measures should be considered in conjunction with net income (loss) as presented in SVC’s consolidated statements of income (loss). SVC considers these non-GAAP measures to be appropriate supplemental measures of operating performance for a REIT, along with net income (loss). SVC believes these measures provide useful information to investors because by excluding the effects of certain historical amounts, such as depreciation and amortization expense, they may facilitate a comparison of SVC’s operating performance between periods and with other REITs and, in the case of Hotel EBITDA, reflecting only those income and expense items that are generated and incurred at the hotel level may help both investors and management to understand the operations of SVC’s hotels.

Please see the pages attached hereto for a more detailed statement of SVC’s operating results and financial condition and for an explanation of SVC’s calculation of FFO and Normalized FFO, EBITDA, Hotel EBITDA, Adjusted Hotel EBITDA, EBITDAre and Adjusted EBITDAre and a reconciliation of those amounts to amounts determined in accordance with GAAP.

Occupancy represents the total number of room nights sold divided by the total number of room nights available at a hotel or group of hotels. Occupancy is an important measure of the utilization rate and demand of SVC’s hotels.

Average Daily Rate, or ADR, represents rooms revenue divided by the total number of room nights sold in a given period. ADR provides useful insight on pricing at SVC’s hotels and is a measure widely used in the hotel industry.

Revenue per Available Room, or RevPAR, represents rooms revenue divided by the total number of room nights available to guests for a given period. RevPAR is an industry metric correlated to occupancy and ADR and helps measure revenue performance over comparable periods.

Hotel EBITDA and Adjusted Hotel EBITDA: Hotel EBITDA is calculated as hotel operating revenues less hotel operating expenses of all managed and leased hotels, prior to any adjustments required for presentation in SVC’s consolidated statements of income (loss) in accordance with GAAP. In calculating Adjusted EBITDAre, SVC adjusts for the items shown on page 12.

Hotel EBITDA Margin and Adjusted Hotel EBITDA Margin: Hotel EBITDA Margin is Hotel EBITDA as a percentage of hotel operating revenues. Adjusted Hotel EBITDA Margin is Adjusted Hotel EBITDA as a percentage of hotel operating expenses.

Comparable Hotels Data: SVC presents RevPAR, ADR, and occupancy for the periods presented on a comparable basis to facilitate comparisons between periods. SVC generally defines comparable hotels as those that were owned by it on December 31, 2021 and were open and operating for the entire periods being compared. For the three months ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, SVC’s comparable results excluded five hotels that had suspended operations during part of the periods presented. For the year ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, SVC’s comparable results excluded 23 hotels that had suspended operations during part of the periods presented.

Rent Coverage: SVC defines Rent Coverage as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent, or EBITDAR, divided by the annual minimum rent due to SVC weighted by the minimum rent of the property to total minimum rents of the net lease portfolio. EBITDAR amounts used to determine rent coverage are generally for the latest twelve-month period reported based on the most recent operating information, if any, furnished by the tenant. Operating statements furnished by the tenant often are unaudited and, in certain cases, may not have been prepared in accordance with GAAP and are not independently verified by SVC. Tenants that do not report operating information are excluded from the rent coverage calculations. In instances where SVC does not have financial information for the most recent quarter from its tenants, it has calculated an implied EBITDAR for the 2021 fourth quarter using industry benchmark data to reflect current operating trends. SVC believes using this industry benchmark data provides a reasonable estimate of recent operating results and rent coverage for those tenants.

 

SERVICE PROPERTIES TRUST

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(dollars in thousands, except share data)

(unaudited)

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

Real estate properties:

 

 

 

 

Land

 

$

1,918,385

 

 

$

2,030,440

 

Buildings, improvements and equipment

 

 

8,307,248

 

 

 

9,131,832

 

Total real estate properties, gross

 

 

10,225,633

 

 

 

11,162,272

 

Accumulated depreciation

 

 

(3,281,659

)

 

 

(3,280,110

)

Total real estate properties, net

 

 

6,943,974

 

 

 

7,882,162

 

Acquired real estate leases and other intangibles, net

 

 

283,241

 

 

 

325,845

 

Assets held for sale

 

 

515,518

 

 

 

13,543

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

 

944,043

 

 

 

73,332

 

Restricted cash

 

 

3,375

 

 

 

18,124

 

Due from related persons

 

 

48,168

 

 

 

55,530

 

Other assets, net

 

 

414,996

 

 

 

318,783

 

Total assets

 

$

9,153,315

 

 

$

8,687,319

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

 

 

 

Revolving credit facility

 

$

1,000,000

 

 

$

78,424

 

Senior unsecured notes, net

 

 

6,143,022

 

 

 

6,130,166

 

Accounts payable and other liabilities

 

 

433,448

 

 

 

345,373

 

Due to related persons

 

 

21,539

 

 

 

30,566

 

Total liabilities

 

 

7,598,009

 

 

 

6,584,529

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shareholders’ equity:

 

 

 

 

Common shares of beneficial interest, $.01 par value; 200,000,000 shares authorized; 165,092,333 and 164,823,833 shares issued and outstanding, respectively

 

 

1,651

 

 

 

1,648

 

Additional paid in capital

 

 

4,552,558

 

 

 

4,550,385

 

Cumulative other comprehensive income (loss)

 

 

779

 

 

 

(760

)

Cumulative net income available for common shareholders

 

 

2,635,660

 

 

 

3,180,263

 

Cumulative common distributions

 

 

(5,635,342

)

 

 

(5,628,746

)

Total shareholders’ equity

 

 

1,555,306

 

 

 

2,102,790

 

Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity

 

$

9,153,315

 

 

$

8,687,319

 

 
 

SERVICE PROPERTIES TRUST

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (LOSS)

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)

(unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended
December 31,

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating revenues (1)

 

$

317,215

 

 

$

174,520

 

 

$

1,104,678

 

 

$

875,098

 

Rental income (2)

 

 

104,160

 

 

 

95,523

 

 

 

390,902

 

 

 

390,156

 

Total revenues

 

 

421,375

 

 

 

270,043

 

 

 

1,495,580

 

 

 

1,265,254

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating expenses (1)(3)

 

 

286,968

 

 

 

189,898

 

 

 

1,010,737

 

 

 

682,804

 

Other operating expenses

 

 

3,900

 

 

 

4,179

 

 

 

15,658

 

 

 

15,208

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

115,757

 

 

 

121,351

 

 

 

485,965

 

 

 

498,908

 

General and administrative

 

 

12,601

 

 

 

13,046

 

 

 

53,439

 

 

 

50,668

 

Transaction related costs (4)

 

 

35,830

 

 

 

15,100

 

 

 

64,764

 

 

 

15,100

 

Loss on asset impairment (5)

 

 

76,510

 

 

 

254

 

 

 

78,620

 

 

 

55,756

 

Total expenses

 

 

531,566

 

 

 

343,828

 

 

 

1,709,183

 

 

 

1,318,444

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain on sale of real estate, net (6)

 

 

588

 

 

 

11,916

 

 

 

11,522

 

 

 

2,261

 

Unrealized gain on equity securities, net (7)

 

 

2,168

 

 

 

15,473

 

 

 

22,535

 

 

 

19,882

 

Gain on insurance settlement (8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

62,386

 

Interest income

 

 

177

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

664

 

 

 

284

 

Interest expense (including amortization of debt issuance costs and debt discounts and premiums of $5,913, $4,220, $21,036 and $14,870, respectively)

 

 

(92,494

)

 

 

(82,811

)

 

 

(365,721

)

 

 

(306,490

)

Loss on early extinguishment of debt (9)

 

 

 

 

 

(2,424

)

 

 

 

 

 

(9,394

)

Loss before income taxes and equity in losses of an investee

 

 

(199,752

)

 

 

(131,630

)

 

 

(544,603

)

 

 

(284,261

)

Income tax benefit (expense) (8)

 

 

1,950

 

 

 

(505

)

 

 

941

 

 

 

(17,211

)

Equity in losses of an investee (10)

 

 

(991

)

 

 

(5,605

)

 

 

(941

)

 

 

(9,910

)

Net loss

 

$

(198,793

)

 

$

(137,740

)

 

$

(544,603

)

 

$

(311,382

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding (basic and diluted)

 

 

164,667

 

 

 

164,498

 

 

 

164,566

 

 

 

164,422

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss per common share (basic and diluted)

 

$

(1.21

)

 

$

(0.84

)

 

$

(3.31

)

 

$

(1.89

)

 
See Notes  
 

SERVICE PROPERTIES TRUST

RECONCILIATIONS OF FUNDS FROM OPERATIONS, NORMALIZED FUNDS

FROM OPERATIONS

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)

(unaudited)

 

 

Three Months Ended
December 31,

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

Calculation of FFO and Normalized FFO: (11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss

$

(198,793

)

 

$

(137,740

)

 

$

(544,603

)

 

$

(311,382

)

Add (Less): Depreciation and amortization

 

115,757

 

 

 

121,351

 

 

 

485,965

 

 

 

498,908

 

Loss on asset impairment (5)

 

76,510

 

 

 

254

 

 

 

78,620

 

 

 

55,756

 

Gain on sale of real estate, net (6)

 

(588

)

 

 

(11,916

)

 

 

(11,522

)

 

 

(2,261

)

Unrealized gain on equity securities, net (7)

 

(2,168

)

 

 

(15,473

)

 

 

(22,535

)

 

 

(19,882

)

Adjustments to reflect SVC’s share of FFO attributable to an investee (10)

 

737

 

 

 

400

 

 

 

2,605

 

 

 

(61

)

FFO

 

(8,545

)

 

 

(43,124

)

 

 

(11,470

)

 

 

221,078

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add (Less): Transaction related costs (4)

 

35,830

 

 

 

15,100

 

 

 

64,764

 

 

 

15,100

 

Loss contingency (13)

 

 

 

 

3,962

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,962

 

Gain on insurance settlement, net of tax (8)

 

 

 

 

(1,800

)

 

 

 

 

 

(48,536

)

Loss on early extinguishment of debt (9)

 

 

 

 

2,424

 

 

 

 

 

 

9,394

 

Adjustments to reflect SVC’s share of Normalized FFO attributable to an investee (10)

 

651

 

 

 

964

 

 

 

2,270

 

 

 

964

 

Normalized FFO

$

27,936

 

 

$

(22,474

)

 

$

55,564

 

 

$

201,962

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding (basic and diluted)

 

164,667

 

 

 

164,498

 

 

 

164,566

 

 

 

164,422

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic and diluted per common share amounts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss per share

$

(1.21

)

 

$

(0.84

)

 

$

(3.31

)

 

$

(1.89

)

FFO

$

(0.05

)

 

$

(0.26

)

 

$

(0.07

)

 

$

1.34

 

Normalized FFO

$

0.17

 

 

$

(0.14

)

 

$

0.34

 

 

$

1.23

 

Distributions declared per share

$

0.01

 

 

$

0.01

 

 

$

0.04

 

 

$

0.57

 

 
See Notes  
 

SERVICE PROPERTIES TRUST

RECONCILIATIONS OF EBITDA, EBITDAre AND ADJUSTED EBITDAre

(amounts in thousands, except per share data)

(unaudited)

 

 

Three Months Ended
December 31,

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

Calculation of EBITDA, EBITDAre and Adjusted EBITDAre:(12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss

$

(198,793

)

 

$

(137,740

)

 

$

(544,603

)

 

$

(311,382

)

Add (Less): Interest expense

 

92,494

 

 

 

82,811

 

 

 

365,721

 

 

 

306,490

 

Income tax (benefit) expense (8)

 

(1,950

)

 

 

505

 

 

 

(941

)

 

 

17,211

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

115,757

 

 

 

121,351

 

 

 

485,965

 

 

 

498,908

 

EBITDA

 

7,508

 

 

 

66,927

 

 

 

306,142

 

 

 

511,227

 

Add (Less): Loss on asset impairment (5)

 

76,510

 

 

 

254

 

 

 

78,620

 

 

 

55,756

 

Gain on sale of real estate, net (6)

 

(588

)

 

 

(11,916

)

 

 

(11,522

)

 

 

(2,261

)

Adjustments to reflect SVC’s share of EBITDAre attributable to an investee (10)

 

781

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,904

 

 

 

 

EBITDAre

 

84,211

 

 

 

55,265

 

 

 

376,144

 

 

 

564,722

 

Add (Less): Transaction related costs (4)

 

35,830

 

 

 

15,100

 

 

 

64,764

 

 

 

15,100

 

Unrealized gain on equity securities, net (7)

 

(2,168

)

 

 

(15,473

)

 

 

(22,535

)

 

 

(19,882

)

Gain on insurance settlement (8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(62,386

)

Loss on early extinguishment of debt (9)

 

 

 

 

2,424

 

 

 

 

 

 

9,394

 

Adjustments to reflect SVC’s share of Adjusted EBITDAre attributable to an investee (10)

 

651

 

 

 

2,755

 

 

 

2,270

 

 

 

1,751

 

General and administrative expense paid in common shares (14)

 

473

 

 

 

920

 

 

 

2,963

 

 

 

3,206

 

Loss contingency (13)

 

 

 

 

3,962

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,962

 

Adjusted EBITDAre

$

118,997

 

 

$

64,953

 

 

$

423,606

 

 

$

515,867

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See Notes  
 

SERVICE PROPERTIES TRUST

CALCULATION AND RECONCILIATION OF HOTEL EBITDA AND ADJUSTED HOTEL EBITDA

Comparable Hotels

(amounts in thousands)

(unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended
December 31,

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

Number of hotels

 

298

 

 

 

298

 

 

 

280

 

 

 

280

 

Room revenues

$

263,312

 

 

$

150,226

 

 

$

812,506

 

 

$

656,990

 

Food and beverage revenues

 

28,700

 

 

 

7,707

 

 

 

44,517

 

 

 

41,787

 

Other revenues

 

11,495

 

 

 

8,910

 

 

 

27,437

 

 

 

27,980

 

Hotel operating revenues – comparable hotels

 

303,507

 

 

 

166,843

 

 

 

884,460

 

 

 

726,757

 

Rooms expenses

 

85,800

 

 

 

56,857

 

 

 

267,010

 

 

 

223,641

 

Food and beverage expenses

 

23,458

 

 

 

9,598

 

 

 

38,393

 

 

 

43,535

 

Other direct and indirect expenses

 

119,706

 

 

 

96,576

 

 

 

385,088

 

 

 

350,702

 

Management fees

 

12,139

 

 

 

2,131

 

 

 

34,590

 

 

 

5,580

 

Real estate taxes, insurance and other

 

24,843

 

 

 

27,777

 

 

 

93,343

 

 

 

94,088

 

FF&E reserves (15)

 

1,236

 

 

 

390

 

 

 

4,046

 

 

 

10,178

 

Hotel operating expenses – comparable hotels

 

267,182

 

 

 

193,329

 

 

 

822,470

 

 

 

727,724

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel EBITDA – comparable hotels

$

36,325

 

 

$

(26,486

)

 

$

61,990

 

 

$

(967

)

Loss contingency (13)

 

 

 

 

(331

)

 

 

 

 

 

(331

)

Adjusted Hotel EBITDA

$

36,325

 

 

$

(26,817

)

 

$

61,990

 

 

$

(1,298

)

Adjusted Hotel EBITDA Margin

 

12.0

%

 

 

(16.1

) %

 

 

7.0

%

 

 

(0.2

) %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating revenues (GAAP) (1)

$

317,215

 

 

$

174,520

 

 

$

1,104,678

 

 

$

875,098

 

Add (Less):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating revenues from leased hotels

 

 

 

 

1,898

 

 

 

 

 

 

13,643

 

Hotel operating revenues from non-comparable hotels

 

(13,708

)

 

 

(9,575

)

 

 

(220,218

)

 

 

(161,984

)

Hotel operating revenues – comparable hotels

$

303,507

 

 

$

166,843

 

 

$

884,460

 

 

$

726,757

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating expenses (GAAP) (1)

$

286,968

 

 

$

189,898

 

 

$

1,010,737

 

 

$

682,804

 

Add (Less):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating expenses from non-comparable hotels

 

(21,643

)

 

 

(13,192

)

 

 

(210,993

)

 

 

(215,340

)

Reduction for security deposit and guaranty fundings, net (3)

 

 

 

 

13,387

 

 

 

15,696

 

 

 

235,522

 

Hotel operating expenses of leased hotels

 

 

 

 

2,225

 

 

 

 

 

 

11,074

 

FF&E reserves from managed hotel operations (15)

 

1,236

 

 

 

390

 

 

 

4,546

 

 

 

11,594

 

Other (16)

 

621

 

 

 

621

 

 

 

2,484

 

 

 

2,070

 

Hotel operating expenses – comparable hotels

$

267,182

 

 

$

193,329

 

 

$

822,470

 

 

$

727,724

 

 
See Notes  
 

SERVICE PROPERTIES TRUST

CALCULATION AND RECONCILIATION OF HOTEL EBITDA AND ADJUSTED HOTEL EBITDA

All Hotels

(amounts in thousands)

(unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended
December 31,

 

Year Ended
December 31,

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

2021

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room revenues

$

272,458

 

 

$

159,022

 

 

$

972,411

 

 

$

773,572

 

Food and beverage revenues

 

31,503

 

 

 

7,911

 

 

 

84,430

 

 

 

66,830

 

Other revenues

 

13,254

 

 

 

9,485

 

 

 

47,837

 

 

 

48,339

 

Hotel operating revenues

 

317,215

 

 

 

176,418

 

 

 

1,104,678

 

 

 

888,741

 

Rooms expenses

 

90,705

 

 

 

59,784

 

 

 

321,228

 

 

 

270,828

 

Food and beverage expenses

 

26,768

 

 

 

9,928

 

 

 

72,884

 

 

 

75,718

 

Other direct and indirect expenses

 

126,208

 

 

 

97,328

 

 

 

458,586

 

 

 

422,819

 

Management fees

 

11,869

 

 

 

2,436

 

 

 

40,478

 

 

 

8,050

 

Real estate taxes, insurance and other

 

32,039

 

 

 

36,655

 

 

 

135,741

 

 

 

154,375

 

FF&E reserves (15)

 

1,236

 

 

 

390

 

 

 

4,546

 

 

 

11,274

 

Hotel operating expenses

 

288,825

 

 

 

206,521

 

 

 

1,033,463

 

 

 

943,064

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel EBITDA

$

28,390

 

 

$

(30,103

)

 

$

71,215

 

 

$

(54,323

)

Loss contingency (13)

 

 

 

 

3,962

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,962

 

Adjusted Hotel EBITDA

$

28,390

 

 

$

(26,141

)

 

$

71,215

 

 

$

(50,361

)

Adjusted Hotel EBITDA Margin

 

8.9

%

 

 

(14.8

) %

 

 

6.4

%

 

 

(5.7

) %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating revenues (GAAP) (1)

$

317,215

 

 

$

174,520

 

 

$

1,104,678

 

 

$

875,098

 

Add: hotel revenues of leased hotels (1)

 

 

 

 

1,898

 

 

 

 

 

 

13,643

 

Hotel operating revenues

$

317,215

 

 

$

176,418

 

 

$

1,104,678

 

 

$

888,741

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel operating expenses (GAAP) (1)

$

286,968

 

 

$

189,898

 

 

$

1,010,737

 

 

$

682,804

 

Add (Less):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduction for security deposit and guaranty fundings, net (3)

 

 

 

 

13,387

 

 

 

15,696

 

 

 

235,522

 

Hotel operating expenses of leased hotels

 

 

 

 

2,225

 

 

 

 

 

 

11,074

 

FF&E reserves from managed hotels operations (15)

 

1,236

 

 

 

390

 

 

 

4,546

 

 

 

11,594

 

Other (16)

 

621

 

 

 

621

 

 

 

2,484

 

 

 

2,070

 

Hotel operating expenses

$

288,825

 

 

$

206,521

 

 

$

1,033,463

 

 

$

943,064

 

 
See Notes  
  1. As of December 31, 2021, SVC owned 303 hotels. SVC’s consolidated statements of income (loss) include hotel operating revenues and expenses of managed hotels and rental income from leased hotels.
  2. SVC increased  rental income by $466 and reduced rental income by $416 for the three months ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, and reduced rental income by $2,621 and $714 for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, to record scheduled rent changes under certain of SVC’s leases, the deferred rent obligations under SVC’s leases with TA and the estimated future payments to SVC under its leases with TA for the cost of removing underground storage tanks on a straight-line basis.
  3. When managers of SVC’s hotels are required to fund the shortfalls of minimum returns under the terms of SVC’s management agreements or their guarantees, SVC reflects such fundings (including security deposit applications) in its consolidated statements of income (loss) as a reduction of hotel operating expenses. The net reduction to hotel operating expenses was $13,387 for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and $15,697 and $235,522 for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. There was no net reduction to hotel operating expenses during the three months ended December 31, 2021.
  4. Transaction related costs for the three months ended December 31, 2021 of $35,830 primarily consists of working capital advances SVC previously funded under its agreements with Marriott and IHG as a result of the amounts no longer expected to be recoverable. Transaction related costs for the year ended December 31, 2021 include $38,446 of working capital advances SVC previously funded under its agreements with Marriott, IHG and Hyatt as a result of the amounts no longer expected to be recoverable, $19,920 of hotel manager transition related costs resulting from the rebranding of 94 hotels during the period, and $6,398 of legal costs related to SVC’s arbitration proceeding with Marriott. Transaction costs for the three months and year ended December 31, 2020 primarily consisted of transition related costs resulting from the rebranding of 115 hotels previously managed by IHG, Marriott and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc. to Sonesta.
  5. SVC recorded a $76,510 loss on asset impairment during the three months ended December 31, 2021 to reduce the carrying value of 35 hotel properties and 21 net lease properties to their estimated fair value less costs to sell and a $254 loss on asset impairment during the three months ended December 31, 2020, to reduce the carrying value of five net lease properties to their estimated fair value less costs to sell. SVC recorded a $78,620 loss on asset impairment during the year ended December 31, 2021 to reduce the carrying value of 35 hotels and 26 net lease properties to their estimated fair value less costs to sell and a $55,756 loss on asset impairment during the year ended December 31, 2020 to reduce the carrying value of 18 hotel properties and 13 net lease properties to their estimated fair value less costs to sell.
  6. SVC recorded a $588 net gain on sale of real estate during the three months ended December 31, 2021 in connection with the sale of one hotel and six net lease properties and recorded a $11,916 net gain on sale of real estate during the three months ended December 31, 2020 in connection with the sale of 18 hotels and six net lease properties. SVC recorded a $11,522 net gain on sale of real estate during the year ended December 31, 2021 in connection with the sale of seven hotels and eleven net lease properties and recorded a net gain on sale of real estate of $2,261 during the year ended December 31, 2020 in connection with the sale of 18 hotels and 21 net lease properties.
  7. Unrealized gain on equity securities, net represents the adjustment required to adjust the carrying value of SVC’s investment in shares of TA common stock to its fair value.
  8. SVC recorded a $62,386 gain on insurance settlement during the year ended December 31, 2020 for insurance proceeds received for its then leased hotel in San Juan, PR related to Hurricane Maria. Under GAAP, SVC was required to increase the building basis of this hotel for the amount of the insurance proceeds. SVC also recorded a $13,850 deferred tax liability as a result of the book value to tax basis difference related to this accounting during the year ended December 31, 2020.
  9. SVC recorded a loss on extinguishment of debt of $2,424 and $9,394 during the three months and year ended December 31, 2020, respectively, relating to its repayment of its $400 million term loan and certain unsecured senior notes.
  10. Represents SVC’s proportionate share from its equity investment in Sonesta.
  11. SVC calculates FFO and Normalized FFO as shown above. FFO is calculated on the basis defined by The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, or Nareit, which is net income (loss), calculated in accordance with GAAP, excluding any gain or loss on sale of properties and loss on impairment of real estate assets, if any, plus real estate depreciation and amortization, less any unrealized gains and losses on equity securities, as well as adjustments to reflect SVC’s share of FFO attributable to an investee and certain other adjustments currently not applicable to SVC. In calculating Normalized FFO, SVC adjusts for the items shown above. FFO and Normalized FFO are among the factors considered by SVC’s Board of Trustees when determining the amount of distributions to its shareholders. Other factors include, but are not limited to, requirements to satisfy SVC’s REIT distribution requirements, limitations in its credit agreement and public debt covenants, the availability to SVC of debt and equity capital, SVC’s distribution rate as a percentage of the trading price of its common shares, or dividend yield, and to the dividend yield of other REITs, SVC’s expectation of its future capital requirements and operating performance and SVC’s expected needs for and availability of cash to pay its obligations. Other real estate companies and REITs may calculate FFO and Normalized FFO differently than SVC does.
  12. SVC calculates EBITDA, EBITDAre, and Adjusted EBITDAre as shown above. EBITDAre is calculated on the basis defined by Nareit which is EBITDA, excluding gains and losses on the sale of real estate, loss on impairment of real estate assets, if any, and adjustments to reflect SVC’s share of EBITDAre attributable to an investee. In calculating Adjusted EBITDAre, SVC adjusts for the items shown above. Other real estate companies and REITs may calculate EBITDA, EBITDAre and Adjusted EBITDAre differently than SVC does.
  13. Hotel operating expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2020 includes a $3,962 loss contingency related to a litigation matter relating to certain of SVC’s hotels.
  14. Amounts represent the equity compensation for SVC’s Trustees, officers and certain other employees of SVC’s manager.
  15. Various percentages of total sales at certain of SVC’s hotels are escrowed as reserves for future renovations or refurbishments, or FF&E reserve escrows. SVC owns all the FF&E reserve escrows for its hotels.
  16. SVC is amortizing a liability it recorded for the fair value of its initial investment in Sonesta as a reduction to hotel operating expenses in its consolidated statements of income (loss). SVC reduced hotel operating expenses by $621 for each of the three months ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, and $2,483 and $2,070 for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, for this liability.

Warning Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. Whenever SVC uses words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “will,” “may” and negatives or derivatives of these or similar expressions, SVC is making forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon SVC’s present intent, beliefs or expectations, but forward-looking statements are not guaranteed to occur and may not occur. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in or implied by SVC’s forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond SVC’s control. For example:

The information contained in SVC’s filings with the SEC, including under the caption “Risk Factors” in SVC’s periodic reports, or incorporated therein, identifies other important factors that could cause differences from SVC’s forward-looking statements. SVC’s filings with the SEC are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

You should not place undue reliance upon forward-looking statements.

Except as required by law, SVC does not intend to update or change any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Rapid Inflation Fuels Debate Over What’s to Blame: Pandemic or Policy

The price increases bedeviling consumers, businesses and policymakers worldwide have prompted a heated debate in Washington about how much of today’s rapid inflation is a result of policy choices in the United States and how much stems from global factors tied to the pandemic, like snarled supply chains.

At a moment when stubbornly rapid price gains are weighing on consumer confidence and creating a political liability for President Biden, White House officials have repeatedly blamed international forces for high inflation, including factory shutdowns in Asia and overtaxed shipping routes that are causing shortages and pushing up prices everywhere. The officials increasingly cite high inflation in places including the euro area, where prices are climbing at the fastest pace on record, as a sign that the world is experiencing a shared moment of price pain, deflecting the blame away from U.S. policy.

But a chorus of economists point to government policies as a big part of the reason U.S. inflation is at a 40-year high. While they agree that prices are rising as a result of shutdowns and supply chain woes, they say that America’s decision to flood the economy with stimulus money helped to send consumer spending into overdrive, exacerbating those global trends.

The world’s trade machine is producing, shipping and delivering more goods to American consumers than it ever has, as people flush with cash buy couches, cars and home office equipment, but supply chains just haven’t been able to keep up with that supercharged demand.

by 7 percent in the year through December, its fastest pace since 1982. But in recent months, it has also moved up sharply across many countries, a fact administration officials have emphasized.

“The inflation has everything to do with the supply chain,” President Biden said during a news conference on Wednesday. “While there are differences country by country, this is a global phenomenon and driven by these global issues,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said after the latest inflation data were released.

the euro area. Data released in the United Kingdom and in Canada on Wednesday showed prices accelerating at their fastest rate in 30 years in both countries. Inflation in the eurozone, which is measured differently from how the U.S. calculates it, climbed to an annual rate of 5 percent in December, according to an initial estimate by the European Union statistics office.

“The U.S. is hardly an island amidst this storm of supply disruptions and rising demand, especially for goods and commodities,” said Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

But some economists point out that even as inflation proves pervasive around the globe, it has been more pronounced in America than elsewhere.

“The United States has had much more inflation than almost any other advanced economy in the world,” said Jason Furman, an economist at Harvard University and former Obama administration economic adviser, who used comparable methodologies to look across areas and concluded that U.S. price increases have been consistently faster.

The difference, he said, comes because “the United States’ stimulus is in a category of its own.”

White House officials have argued that differences in “core” inflation — which excludes food and fuel — have been small between the United States and other major economies over the past six months. And the gaps all but disappear if you strip out car prices, which are up sharply and have a bigger impact in the United States, where consumers buy more automobiles. (Mr. Furman argued that people who didn’t buy cars would have spent their money on something else and that simply eliminating them from the U.S. consumption basket is not fair.)

Administration officials have also noted that the United States has seen a robust rebound in economic growth. The International Monetary Fund said in October that it expected U.S. output to climb by 6 percent in 2021 and 5.2 percent in 2022, compared with 5 percent growth last year in the euro area and 4.3 percent growth projected for this year.

“To the extent that we got more heat, we got a lot more growth for it,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

$5 trillion in spending in 2020 and 2021. That outstripped the response in other major economies as a share of the nation’s output, according to data compiled by the International Monetary Fund.

Many economists supported protecting workers and businesses early in the pandemic, but some took issue with the size of the $1.9 trillion package last March under the Biden administration. They argued that sending households another round of stimulus, including $1,400 checks, further fueled demand when the economy was already healing.

Consumer spending seemed to react: Retail sales, for instance, jumped after the checks went out.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation costs and toys.

Americans found themselves with a lot of money in the bank, and as they spent that money on goods, demand collided with a global supply chain that was too fragile to catch up.

Virus outbreaks shut down factories, ports faced backlogs and a dearth of truckers roiled transit routes. Americans still managed to buy more goods than ever before in 2021, and foreign factories sent a record sum of products to U.S. shops and doorsteps. But all that shopping wasn’t enough to satisfy consumer demand.

stop spending at the start of the pandemic helped to swell savings stockpiles.

And the Federal Reserve’s interest rates are at rock bottom, which has bolstered demand for big purchases made on credit, from houses and cars to business investments like machinery and computers. Families have been taking on more housing and auto debt, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows, helping to pump up those sectors.

But if stimulus-driven demand is fueling inflation, the diagnosis could come with a silver lining. It may be easier to temper consumer spending than to rapidly reorient tangled supply lines.

People may naturally begin to buy less as government help fades. Spending could shift away from goods and back toward services if the pandemic abates. And the Fed’s policies work on demand — not supply.

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Kazakhstan Shuts Internet as Government Offices Burn in Protests

MOSCOW — Thousands of people returned to the streets across Kazakhstan on Wednesday for a fourth straight day of demonstrations driven by outrage over surging gas prices, in the biggest wave of protests to sweep the oil-rich country for decades.

Protesters stormed government buildings and captured police vehicles despite a strict state of emergency and government attempts to concede to their demands, including by dismissing the cabinet and announcing the possible dissolution of Parliament, which would result in new elections. Kazakhtelecom, the country’s largest telecommunications company, shut off internet access throughout the country on Wednesday afternoon.

Anger has been building since Sunday, when Kazakhs began protesting after the government lifted price caps for liquefied petroleum gas — frequently referred to by its initials, L.P.G. — and the cost of the fuel doubled.

Many people in the country of 19 million found the price increase particularly infuriating because Kazakhstan is an exporter of oil and gas. It added to the economic misery in a country where the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated severe income inequality.

according to the local statistics authority. Most people earn only a fraction of that amount, according to Mr. Umbetov, with the average skewed in favor of oil industry workers.

As the protests have unfolded, the demands of the demonstrators have expanded to include a broader political liberalization. Among the changes they seek is the direct election of Kazakhstan’s regional leaders by voters; in the current system, they are directly appointed by the president.

For almost 30 years, Kazakhstan was ruled by Mr. Nazarbayev, a former Communist Party boss, who is now 81.

The ascension of Mr. Tokayev created two centers of power. Mr. Nazarbayev and his family enjoy wide authority, while the new president, even though he is loyal to his predecessor, is trying to carve out a stronger role for himself, disorienting Kazakhstan’s bureaucracy and elites. This divide has contributed to the government’s slow reaction to the protesters’ demands, according to Arkady Dubnov, a Central Asia expert in Moscow.

“The government has been slow because it is divided and has no idea what young people in Kazakhstan really want,” Mr. Dubnov said. “On the other hand, the protesters don’t have a leader who would articulate it clearly.”

The countries of the former Soviet Union are watching the protests closely. For Russia, the events represent another possible challenge to autocratic power in a neighboring country.

Russia intervened militarily in Ukraine in 2014 after pro-democracy protests erupted there, and the Kremlin offered support to the Belarusian dictator Aleksandr G. Lukashenko as he violently crushed peaceful protests against his autocratic rule in 2020.

The protests in Kazakhstan represent a warning signal for the Kremlin, Mr. Dubnov said, describing the government in Kazakhstan as “a reduced replica of the Russian one.”

“There is no doubt that the Kremlin would not want to see an example of such a regime beginning to talk to the opposition and conceding to their demands,” he added.

Mr. Putin has been in power for 20 years, and though a 2020 referendum gave him the right to rule until 2036, observers are watching for signs of a managed transition out of power.

Pro-Kremlin media have portrayed the events in Kazakhstan as an organized plot against Russia. Komsomolskaya Pravda, a pro-government tabloid, referred to the protests as a “dirty trick played on Moscow” ahead of “crucial talks between Russia and the U.S. and NATO” next week. Those discussions will be focused on the crisis in Ukraine, where there are fears of a renewed Russian invasion.

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Covid Live Updates: New Year Festivities Scaled Back Worldwide as Cases Soar

Credit…Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images

In the United States, over 204 million people are fully vaccinated, but that’s still only 62 percent of the population, much lower than in most other wealthy countries.

At the county level, vaccination rates range from about 83 percent in places like Montgomery County, Md., a populous area just outside Washington, D.C., to around 15 percent in rural places like McPherson County in northern South Dakota.

As the Omicron variant surges, and experts say that vaccinations strongly protect against severe illness, U.S. public health officials are closely examining ways to reach the least-vaccinated areas. But the roadblocks are not the same everywhere. Some clearly have to do with politics: Republican-leaning areas have generally been vaccine laggards. But pockets of the country can have their own quirks unrelated to partisanship.

Here is a look at the challenges faced by three counties where, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, vaccination rates are among the lowest in the nation. (State figures for those counties may vary from the C.D.C. data because of differences in methodology, reporting lags and other factors.)

LaGrange County, Ind.

Resistance to vaccines is not new in LaGrange County, a rural area along Indiana’s border with Michigan. Just 22 percent of residents are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and, according to Dr. Tony Pechin, the county health officer, only 15 percent of children in the county are up-to-date on standard vaccines by the age of 2.

Dr. Pechin said that he had encountered the usual conspiracy theories about vaccines, and that even some longtime patients would not heed his advice to get the shots.

But the most important factor, he said, is that about half the county’s 40,000 residents are Amish, a group that overwhelmingly rejects the vaccines. Among non-Amish residents, he said, the vaccination rate is 45 to 48 percent.

Dr. Pechin said that a pharmacy frequented by Amish residents was among the first in LaGrange County to receive doses but had vaccinated just eight people in six months.

The state health commissioner sent a delegation to meet with Amish leaders in the spring, and the C.D.C. sent another over the summer.

“When they were done,” Dr. Pechin said of the envoys, “they called me and just said, ‘Good luck, Tony.’”

Cameron Parish, La.

When Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron Parish in August 2020, many residents left damaged homes behind and took refuge inland — and have yet to return.

According to the C.D.C., the vaccination rate is just 17 percent. But Louisiana health officials say that those figures do not take account of the population shift.

“Although the numbers look awful, they’re not as bad as they appear, because of an outflux of people due to the natural disasters,” said Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh, a regional health officer for the Louisiana Department of Health.

Credit…Bryan Tarnowski/Bloomberg, via Getty Images

But if the statistics were calculated to reflect the current populations of Cameron Parish and others ravaged by recent storms, she said, they would probably still show vaccination rates below national averages. Laura destroyed much of the parish’s limited health infrastructure, so for months, health officials administered vaccines in a tent in a hospital parking lot. And for residents consumed by the work of repairing homes and businesses, getting vaccinated fell low on the priority list.

State health officials have worked to bring vaccines directly to disaster recovery events, and advised residents that getting sick with Covid-19 could make the road back even harder.

“Once you’re protected” from the virus, Dr. Cavanaugh said, “that’s one less thing for you to worry about.”

Winston County, Ala.

A rural county with a history of going its own way — it refused to join Alabama in seceding from the Union during the Civil War —  faces many of the challenges that have hampered the state’s vaccine uptake.

Vaccine misinformation is still spreading on social media, said Dr. Karen Landers, a regional officer with the state’s Public Health Department, despite months of efforts with local leaders, faith-based organizations and pharmacies. The county’s vaccination rate has stalled at around 21 percent, according to the C.D.C.

Credit…Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images

Persuading young people that they are vulnerable to the disease and need a vaccine can be a particularly acute problem, she said. But Dr. Landerssaid she remained determined: “We know that not everyone will listen to us, but that does not alleviate our responsibility.”

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