WHA Corporation Plc has been negotiating with a handful of big customers that are keen to take up space in the company’s industrial estates in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the company’s chairperson and group chief executive officer Jareeporn Jarukornsakul said yesterday.
The government’s policy to promote the 10 targeted S-curve industries for development in the EEC has helped to boost demand for industrial premises, said Jareeporn, adding that the company hoped to finalise a deal with up to five customers before the end of this year.
The government’s 10 priority industries include auto-part manufacturing and consumer products, as well as new industries supported by the government such as aerospace and next-generation automotive manufacturing.
With the deal expected this year, the company has confidence in the business outlook for the second half of this year, eyeing “tremendous growth”, especially from the industrial estates business and the logistics development business due to the industrial estates’ locations within the EEC area, Jareeporn said.
The company’s ambitions fit with the company’s mission to promote the targeted 10 hi-tech industries, she said.
In addition, negotiations are under way for built-to-suit contracts for warehouse and distribution centres with two large customers, accounting for 170,000 square metres.
This has led to an increase in the rental area of the warehouse and factory from both built-to-suit and ready-built of up to 60,000 square metres in the first half of this year.
For the fourth quarter of this year, the company is preparing to monetise its assets to WHA Premium Growth Real Estate Investment Trust (WHART) and Hemaraj Leasehold Estate Investment Trust (HREIT), “which are expected to be executed as planned and the revenue will be recognised in fourth quarter of this year”, Jareeporn said.
The company yesterday announced net profit of Bt1.08 billion in the first half of this year, up 3 per cent from the same period of last year.
Jareeporn said the company’s total revenue and share of profit of associates and joint ventures in the first half of this year reached Bt5.47 billion, increasing by 14.6 per cent from the Bt4.77 billion booked for the same period of last year.
The key drivers of the operational growth in the first six months came from the asset monetisation to Hemaraj Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (HREIT), with an asset value of Bt1.59 billion at the beginning of the year, increasing sales volume of utilities service in line with the demand from customers in the industrial estates, and the COD of the 5 SPP projects since the second quarter of last year onwards. Jareeporn said This led to a record increase in the share of profit from power business, which saw a total installed capacity of 510.5 MW, excluding a solar rooftop service which is under negotiation with up to eight customers. This accounts for about 5-6 MW, with an expected year-end solar rooftop service to be about 10 MW.
In the second quarter of this year, the company was affected by the depreciation of the baht against US dollar, as well as a decrease in the number of land transfers compared with the same quarter of last year.
The company recorded total revenue and the share of profit of associates and joint ventures of Bt2.02 billion, a decrease of 41 per cent from the same quarter of last year.
Net profit fell by Bt669 million, a 69 per cent decrease. However, the normalised net profit, excluding accounting implications on foreign exchange FX changes, dropped by Bt379 million or 42 per cent.