Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) President and CEO Thomas Heneghan issued an upbeat review of a “very successful” 2005 in his Chicago-based company’s year-end report, despite sustaining financial setbacks from a daunting spate of fall hurricanes.
A self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust (REIT), ELS owns or has an interest in 285 properties in 28 states and British Columbia consisting of 106,337 sites – a minority of which are dedicated to recreational vehicle use. The bulk of the company’s properties are located in Sunbelt states and include the real estate holdings of Thousand Trails Inc.
“Funds from Operations” (FFO) for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, were $52.8 million, down 2.9% from the $54.4 million reported for 2004. Fourth quarter FFO totaled $5.7 million versus $14.1 million for the previous year. The net loss for the year was $2.3 million compared to a net profit of $4 million in 2004, while losses for the last quarter were $14.6 million versus $80,000 in ’04.
The fourth quarter loss largely was attributable to refinancing and hurricane related costs, the company stated.
The company’s “Portfolio Performance” results were more positive in that year-end “property operating revenues” of $313.9 million exceeded 2004’s total of $283.3 million by 10.8%. Fourth-quarter property operating revenues reached $77.5 million compared with $72.9 million in 2004’s fourth quarter.
“We had a very successful 2005 with a strong fourth quarter and have taken that momentum into 2006,” said Heneghan. “The results for 2005 are very gratifying as 2005 marks the first full year of activity with our significantly expanded (real estate) portfolio focused on serving the lifestyle-oriented customer. …The goals we established at the beginning of 2005 highlighted the need to execute on this larger, more robust platform.
“We met or exceeded our targets on resort revenues, sales volumes and sales profitability,” he added. “One area where we fell short of our goal was occupancy, which declined slightly in 2005. The impact of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes in Florida and weakness in affordable housing properties were a modest drag on otherwise strong markets.”
Heneghan maintained that ELS, which posted 771 new home sales, a 50% increase over 2004, will continue the operational focus of 2005, including occupancy, resort revenues, sales volumes and sales profitability. The company will proceed to “evaluate opportunities to re-allocate capital away from locations or property types that do not meet our long-term plans and into locations and properties more fitting with our objectives.”
Ideally, he added, ELS will be looking at attractive real estate locations near major metropolitan areas and/or retirement or vacation destinations that might facilitate housing and recreational vehicle lifestyles.