The last five years has been a period of refinement as asset sales and new development projects have repositioned the portfolio and deleveraged the balance sheet.
Focusing our investment strategy on the Auckland industrial sector recognises the emerging trends and unique drivers that have helped make this New Zealand’s strongest performing real estate market.
Demographic changes, economic growth, and the rapid expansion of online retailing are creating an unprecedented level of demand for welllocated and operationally efficient warehouse space across the city.
These factors are driving GMT’s operating performance and creating value for investors. It's apparent in our results and this year’s record profit, including a $201.9 million portfolio revaluation gain, highlights the positive impact of our strategy.
Key highlights include
- Profit after tax of $319.5 million, compared to $194.0 million previously
- Adjusted operating earnings after tax of $99.5 million and cash earnings of 6.98 cents per unit, consistent with earlier guidance
- Completion of the sales programme with $370.5 million of asset disposals
- $160.5 million of new development projects announced with $195 million of work in progress
- A loan to value ratio of 19.7% at 31 March 2019, including contracted sales.
More than 175 companies, employing around 10,000 people, occupy space in the portfolio.
These are our customers and their commercial success underpins our own. A long-term focus means we establish lasting relationships as business partners, providing the high-quality spaces and superior service that helps them prosper.
It’s a commitment that ensures high retention rates and preferred provider status when current leases expire, or a customer’s space requirements change.
An impressive 59% of leasing transactions over the last 12 months were repeat business. In total more than 63,000 sqm of space, around 6% of the portfolio, was secured on new or revised terms. This leasing success has lifted portfolio occupancy to over 98% and maintained the weighted average lease term at more than five years.
The positive dynamics of the Auckland industrial market, with a shortage of high-quality space available for lease, is supporting a record level of development activity. Around $160 million of new projects were confirmed last year. Expansion commitments were also secured from existing customers, OfficeMax and Panasonic, shortly after the year end. GMT now has 14 projects underway at a total cost of $195 million. The majority are at Highbrook in East Tamaki, with this world-class business park now over 90% developed.
We expect similar volumes of development over the next few years with demand from within the portfolio indicating a further 50,000 sqm of industrial space will be required. Like OfficeMax and Panasonic, these customers are already at capacity and require tailored property solutions to accommodate their business growth.
Along with these design-build commitments the current workbook also includes smaller build-to-lease projects. With the majority of these being leased prior to completion, it’s been a highly successful approach that has contributed to the rapid development of GMT’s strategic land holdings.
Around 85% of the portfolio has been developed since 2004. Providing around one million square metres of high-quality space, GMT is the country’s leading industrial property provider.
Developable land now makes up just 2.2% of the portfolio. With very limited industrial zoned greenfield land remaining in Auckland, the focus is on securing strategic sites that offer future opportunity through intensification of use or redevelopment. The acquisition of the Foodstuffs Distribution Centre in Mt Roskill and three adjoining properties on Favona Road in Mangere during the year are examples of this strategy.
Retaining a development capability is critical to our business growth and both these locations are ideal sites for fulfilment and logistics companies.
The strength of our customer relationships and the attraction of the portfolio have driven the Trust’s recent success and positioned it for long-term growth.
The positive market dynamics created by a strong regional economy and the growth of online retailing make Auckland industrial our preferred asset class. The Trust’s $2.6 billion portfolio is now exclusively invested in this market.
The sale of office assets has repositioned GMT and created the balance sheet capacity that is funding its development programme. A stable outlook supports a continuation of this development-led growth strategy, extending an already high-quality portfolio.
It’s a disciplined approach focused on sustainable growth. We’re making space for greatness and our customers and other stakeholders are embracing the opportunity it provides.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer