E-commerce is emerging as an important demand driver for well-located distribution facilities in large consumer markets around the world. With its urban logistics portfolio strategically located across Auckland, GMT continues to benefit from e-commerce growth.
The Trust’s investment strategy and the commitment of the Goodman team have contributed to another impressive operating result in FY21. The achievement is particularly notable given the disruptive impacts of COVID-19 over the last 12 months.
Key highlights include
Net property income of $153.0 million and operating earnings before tax of $114.9 million
An average portfolio occupancy rate of 99% over the year and 98% at 31 March 2021
$225.1 million of new development commencements, with $250.1 million of projects in progress
Acquisition of properties adjoining Savill Link and Mt Wellington industrial estates for $83.0 million
GMT’s $3.8 billion portfolio includes around 1.1 million sqm of space leased to more than 210 customers. High- quality warehouse and logistics facilities provide these companies with the physical infrastructure to manage inventory and service end consumers.
New space requirements and the extension of existing customer relationships have underpinned strong leasing results and renewed levels of development activity.
More than 146,500 sqm of space, or 13.4% of the investment portfolio was secured on new or revised terms over the last 12 months. These positive leasing outcomes have helped maintain the average portfolio occupancy rate of 99% and weighted average lease term of more than five years.
Greater levels of enquiry are also driving GMT’s development programme. Companies have gained confidence in the operating environment as the year has progressed and are now considering their future space requirements.
Seven design-build and build-to-lease developments were completed during the year. The projects, with a combined value of $125 million, have added 33,918 sqm of high-quality space to the portfolio.
The Trust also commenced four new developments, with a total project cost of $132 million.
The largest of the new projects is the redevelopment of Roma Road Estate.
The 13.1 hectare brownfield site in Mt Roskill is being transformed into a modern logistics hub that maximises the property’s inner-city location.
The masterplan includes four new distribution facilities, with over 42,000 sqm of high-quality distribution space.
New Zealand Post will anchor the redevelopment, committing to a 20-year lease over the first 17,700 sqm warehouse. The project is a continuation of a successful partnership, with the customer occupying five separate facilities across the portfolio.
Subsequent projects at Roma Road will be staged to meet demand with the property expected to have a value of more than $200 million once fully developed.
Targeting a five star Green Star rating the estate will feature highly sustainable buildings and workspaces complemented by extensive onsite amenity. The embodied carbon within the building materials and construction process will be reduced where possible with the remainder offset.
Following the Trust’s 31 March balance date another new development project has been confirmed.
Favona Estate in Māngere is to be extensively redeveloped. The value-add, seven-hectare property will feature two new warehouses, totalling 33,205 sqm.
Mainfreight has committed to the larger 22,435 sqm facility with the second warehouse being developed on a build-to-lease basis. The redevelopment has an expected completion date of February 2023.
The project adds to GMT’s current development workbook which now includes $250.1 million of active projects.
Acquiring for tomorrow
With just 6.1 hectares of greenfield land in the portfolio, new investment opportunities for future development continue to be targeted.
The acquisition of properties neighbouring the Trust’s Savill Link and Mt Wellington industrial estates was consistent with this strategy. With a combined purchase price of $83 million these properties have a total site area of 14.5 hectares. Currently leased, with existing improvements providing steady holding income, the new sites offer a range of longer-term redevelopment options that will contribute to GMT’s growth.
A well-capitalised balance sheet with substantial reserves has enabled GMT to take advantage of these new opportunities. With a loan to value ratio of just 19.2% and only partially drawn debt facilities the Trust retains $339 million of funding capacity for future investment.
It’s a strong position that has been achieved through careful financial management and disciplined execution of GMT’s investment strategy.
The issue of $200 million of fixed interest rate bonds to New Zealand wholesale investors in September 2020 was a
continuation of this prudent approach.
The highly successful issue included two tranches:
$150 million of 10-year bonds paying 2.559% per annum, and
$50 million of eight-year bonds paying 2.262% per annum.
The new issues add further tenor and diversity to the Trust’s debt book which now includes bank borrowings, listed retail bonds, wholesale bonds and US Private Placement debt notes.
GMT’s bank facilities were also refinanced during the year, with the first bank debt expiry extended out to November 2022. At 31 March 2021, the weighted term to expiry across all the Trust’s drawn debt was 5.2 years.
Auckland’s urban logistics market has continued to be the best performing of all the commercial property sectors. Despite the challenging year, the resilience of the industrial property sector has contributed to another strong operating result for GMT.
The unique demand drivers created by a growing online marketplace are supporting the Trust’s leasing results and a renewed level of development activity.
While economic risks remain, the quality and scale of the portfolio, together with low gearing and focused investment strategy, make us optimistic about the future.
Prioritising sustainability this year has reinforced our commitment to reducing our environmental impacts. Meeting the needs of our customers with sustainable property solutions is positive for all our stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer