Largest operator of warehousing space in China, Singaporean logistics giant GLP, posts 34pc second quarter profit rise

Results come after finalisation of a US$11.6b management-led buyout of the firm by a consortium led by developer China Vanke Co and Goldman Sachs’ former China chairman – Asia’s biggest-ever private equity acquisition by value

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 November, 2017, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 November, 2017, 1:53pm

Global Logistics Properties (GLP), the Singapore-listed logistic giant and largest operator of warehouse space in China, has reported a 34 per cent year-on-year jump in net profit in the three months to September, boosted by higher rental income and foreign exchange gains.

Net profit climbed 34 per cent to US$231 million in the second quarter from a year ago, with total revenue increasing 32 per cent to US$282 million, according to the firm’s filing to Singapore Exchange on Friday.

It owns 17.5 million square metres of completed warehousing space in China, more than double the combination of what its four biggest rivals own, according to its annual report in March.

The results come after the finalisation of a S$16 billion (US$11.6 billion) buyout of the firm by a consortium led by developer China Vanke Co, Goldman Sachs’ former China chairman, and fund Hillhouse Capital in July – Asia’s biggest-ever private equity acquisition by value.

Vanke, Hopu lead US$11.6 billion management buyout of GLP, winning Asia’s largest takeover

The group, The Nesta Investment Holdings MidCo consortium, which also involves GLP co-founder and chief executive officer of the firm Ming Mei, plans to delist from the Singapore bourse early next year, with the original shareholders receiving S$3.38 per share in cash by January 19, 2018, said Stephen Schutte, chief operating officer of the firm.

GLP’s largest existing shareholder is GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with owns 36.8 per cent of the warehouse operator.

“GLP continued to execute on our strategy of creating value by providing integrated solutions to grow and serve our logistics ecosystem,” said Ming Mei, who will own 21.2 per cent of the shares in the new private company.

The growth in profit was thanks to higher rental income from logistic facilities it owns and gains in foreign exchange. Same-property net operating income grew 4.6 per cent, and rent for renewal leases was up 9.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, the average lease ratio inched up to 91 per cent from 90 per cent a quarter earlier. New and renewal leases increased 38 per cent year on year to 4.6 million sq m.

Foreign exchange gains reached US$41 million in the quarter. The company issued 1 billion yuan (US$152 million) worth of panda bonds in October, and plans to issue more panda bonds, said Heather Xie, its chief financial officer.

Warehouse giant GLP issues 1b yuan worth of panda bonds on China’s interbank market

GLP acquired Gazeley, a European logistics platform, in October for US$2.8 billion. It plans to leverage Gazeley’s three million square metres of storage space to compete in the European market, the filing said.

The firm currently provides logistics facilities in China, Japan, US, and Brazil. Its total asset value stood at over US$40.7 billion in March, with China accounting for 57 per cent if it.

The Chinese market is becoming more competitive for GLP, however. “We are seeing the easy days of ‘you build them and they will come’ are over,” said Mei in an earnings call. “That’s why we became more disciplined over the past two years.”

GLP now focuses on optimising site location and providing a holistic ecosystem to customers instead of just facilities, Mei said.