WHA Shows Strong 9M Growth with Dividend Payout over Rising Income from Land Transfer

WHA Corporation Public Company Limited (WHA Group) is on top form showing its 9-month earnings results of 2022, with total revenue and share of profit of THB 6,570.0 million and net profit of THB 1,204.3 million. Normalized total revenue and share of profit amounted to THB 6,669.3 million and normalized profit to THB 1,325.0 million, an increase of 90.7% year-on-year. Recently, the Board has approved the dividend payment for 9 months at 0.0669 baht per share, with the XD sign posted on 25 November 2022, with the dividend payment scheduled on 9 December 2022. Group CEO, Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul reaffirms that the full-year performance will reach an “All Time High” as expected. Revenue will peak in Q4 from the transfer of large land plots and income from asset sales to 2 REITs. Recently, the Group received 3 prestigious awards for its excellence management towards sustainable development, innovation and outstanding performance while WHA Group was selected as one of the Sustainable Stock on the list of Thailand Sustainability Investment (THIS) for the third consecutive year by the Stock Exchange of Thailand. 

WHA Corporation Public Company Limited (WHA Group) reports Q3/2022 earnings with total revenue and share of profit of THB 2,201.0 million and net profit of THB 258.6 million, respectively. WHA Group also recognize total normalized revenue and share of profit of THB 2,265.9 million and normalized profit of THB 333.0 million, an increase of 49.8% and 45.7% year-on-year.

As for the earnings results for the first 9 months of 2022, WHA Group has total revenue and share of profit of THB 6,570.0 million and a net profit of THB 1,240.3 million. The company has total normalized revenue and share of profit of THB 6,669.3 million, up 37.3% and normalized profit of THB 1,325.0 million, an increase of 90.7% from the same period last year. The growth rate reflects the increasing potential of all 4 business hubs that keep expanding continually.

In this regard, the meeting of the Board of Directors has approved the interim dividends payment for the 9 months of 2022 at the rate of 0.0669 baht per share, with the XD sign posted on 25 November 2022 and the dividend payment schedule on 9 December 2022. 

Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman and Group CEO of WHA Corporation Public Company Limited, revealed that the overall performance during the 9-month period of 2022 has seen remarkable growth, driven by the performance of all 4 business hubs which have grown in line with the economic recovery. After the ease of Covid-19 pandemic situation, the investment sector both domestic and overseas has become active again, resulting in positive impact to all businesses of WHA Group.

Logistics Business has outstanding growth as a result of the country’s reopening which brings the revival of economic activities and investment situation. During the first 9 months of 2022, the company has signed additional Built-to-Suit projects and factories/warehouses totaling 137,952 square meters. At the same time, the company is able to secure short-term high-yield contracts totaling 113,955 square meters, above the whole year target at 100,000 square meters.  At present, the company has a total of 2,715,831 square meters of warehouse space under its ownership and management, while the demand for high-quality warehouse space has increased continually. As a result, the company’s overall occupancy rate stood at 94%. For Q3 and the first 9 months of 2022, the company was able to recognize revenue from rental properties business at THB 263.3 million and THB 776.1 million, respectively.

For the rest of the year, the company has several projects on hand which are ready to transfer, such as a new warehouse project with total area of over 51,000 square meters, plus the new WHA Mega Logistics Centers in Bangna-Trad KM.18 and Bangna-Trad KM.23, and an extension of WHA Mega Logistics Center Theparak KM. 21, with a total area of over 420,000 sq m.

At the same time, the company continues to explore for new technologies and digital solutions, as well as collaborates with start-up businesses to upgrade and create a variety of services to customers that will add value for future business such as Smart Warehouses which will apply quantum computing technology, or Green Logistics which is an environmentally friendly solution for transportation. In addition, WHA Ventures Holding Co., Ltd. (WHAVH) has invested in leading startup companies such as Storage Asia Co., Ltd., Giztix Company Co., Ltd., Mercular Co., Ltd. (Mercular) and recently Mungmee Ecommerce Co., Ltd. – an e-commerce startup for B2B that aims to modernize Thai traditional commerce by using technology and integrated data to digitalize the operations of retail shops. Throughout an investment, Startups will be able to integrate their business activities with the Group’s strong logistics ecosystem both warehouses, premium distribution centers and logistics network.

In addition, WHA Group is now offering 6 world-class office buildings for rent in Bangkok and Samut Prakan, totaling 100,000 sq.m., including WHA Tower, the company’s new head office in the Bangna area, and WHA KW S25, the latest office project which is now under construction and expected to be completed in the middle of 2023.

As the divestiture of assets and/or leasehold rights to WHART and WHAIR, representing total leased area of approximately 208,149 square meters and worth THB 5,397 million, is going as planned, WHA Group shall be able to recognize the gains within the 4th quarter of this year.

Industrial Estate Business is reinforcing its leadership as number one industrial estate developer in Thailand. After revising its 2022 target of land sales at 1,650 rai and speed up the expansion of industrial estate development business in Vietnam, in the first 9 months of 2022, the company recorded total land sales of 1,512 rai, with 1,412 rai in Thailand and 100 rai in Vietnam. In addition, there are outstanding MOUs for a total of 178 rai, including 61 rai in Thailand and 117 rai in Vietnam. As a result, during Q3 and the first 9 months of 2022, the company was able to recognize revenue from industrial development business at THB 961.3 million and THB 2,359.3 million, respectively.

In Q3/2022, WHAID signed a 600-rai landmark deal at WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate, its largest transaction in 20 years, with leading Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD. This land sales illustrates the continuous attractiveness of WHA’s industrial estates to foreign investors. More importantly, it confirms WHA’s role as a key player for the formation of Thailand’s automotive cluster in the EEC throughout the past 20 years as well as the leading industrial developer supporting Thailand’s vision to become Southeast Asia’s hub for electric vehicles (EVs). WHA Group’s industrial estate business is considered a complete ecosystem, ready to meet the needs of customers who want to use Thailand as a production and investment base for various industries.

As for the backlog in Q3/2022, the company has about 1,300 rai and expects to transfer some portions during the remainder of 2022, with the rest within 2023, in line with the investment direction and the production relocation to Thailand. At present, the company has more than 4,250 rai of industrial land ready for sale. In addition, the development of WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate has already completed with a total area of 1,281 rai, while the construction of the extension of WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 4 (WHA ESIE 4), covering 573 rai, is expected to be completed by Q4/2022. The construction of the WHA Industrial Estate Rayong (WHA IER) project started in October this year.

Meanwhile, the expansion of industrial zones in Vietnam is on progress. Recently, the company has accelerated the development of WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An Phase 2, covering 2,215 rai.  For Phase 1, which covers 900 rai, the company is able to lease out 74% of total area to customers in various industrial sectors such as automotive parts, food processing, solar power, building materials, and electronics, with foreign direct investment of USD 500 million.

In addition, WHA Group is expanding to other locations including the development of industrial zones in Thanh Hoa Province, covering 5,625-rai. Currently, it is in the process of seeking investment approval from the government. Thanh Hoa province is one of Vietnam’s economic centers and the 3rd largest city in the country. It is a strategic location for transportation as it is close to Hanoi and Lach Huyen deep seaport. Known as WHA Smart Technology Industrial Zone – Thanh Hoa, it can serve the needs of high-value technology investors and the expansion of the “Northern Technology Corridor” project of Vietnam.

At the same time, the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for its 3rd Industrial Zone in Vietnam in Quang Nam Province, covering approximately 2,500 rai. The ‘WHA Smart Eco Industrial Zone – Quang Nam’ project is strategically located in the heart of the central region near Danang and Quang Ngai provinces. In the future, this smart eco-industrial zone will support clean high-tech industries such as automotive, mechanical, electrical, electronic, telecommunications, medical or logistics industries.

Utilities Business (Water) WHA Group recognized revenue from its utilities business in Q3 and the first 9 months of 2022 totaling THB 660.4 million and THB 1,945.6 million, respectively. Total volumes of utilities sales and management both domestic and overseas reached 36.6 million cubic meters and 111.7 million cubic meters, respectively. Despite that domestic water sales in Q3 slightly decreased with 28.7 million cubic meters as some customers stopped operations for maintenance, the sales volume of raw water and value-added products has improved.

As for the overseas water sales in Q3 and the first 9 months of 2022, the company’s total water sale showed strong growth at 7.9 million cubic meters  and 20.7 million cubic meters based on the equity stake. It is due to an increasing water sale of the Duong River during Q3 as a result of economic recovery after the Covid-19 situation improved and Vietnam reopened the country. The company was able to expand its customer base and provide water service covering larger areas. 

Recently, the company has constructed a new high-quality industrial water plant and wastewater treatment plant in WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate, with a total production capacity of 3.3 million cubic meters per year. It is also developing a demineralized water plant in Asia Industrial Estate, with a capacity of 1 million cubic meters per year, expected to be completed by the end of this year. In addition, the company has also signed water purchase agreements with customers in various sectors including power generation, medical and solar panel manufacturing.

Power Business – The company continues to expand its investment portfolio in renewable energy, especially solar. In Q3 and the first 9 months of 2022, the company recognized normalized share of profits from investments in joint ventures and associates, excluding gain/loss from exchange rate at THB 190.0 million and THB 573.5 million, respectively. When considering the Q3/2022 earnings results, normalized share of profit from the power business has declined due to lower contributions from SPP power plants that was impacted by rising costs of natural gas recently.

For solar power business in Q3 and the first 9 months of 2022, the company recognized revenue of THB 74.7 million and THB 177.9 million, respectively. In Q3, the company was able to sign 10 additional contracts for solar rooftop projects, comprising 8 contracts for Private Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) projects, with a total capacity of approximately 5 MW, and 2 contracts for EPC service projects, with a total capacity of approximately 6 MW. As a result, at the end of Q3/2022, the company had a total of 131 MW of Private PPA contracts. WHA Group expected not only expect that the signed PPAs for solar rooftop projects will reach 150 MW by the end of this year but it shall also be able to start commercial operations (COD) to produce and sell additional solar power to customers for 7 MW. Today, the company has solar projects with total COD capacity of 69 MW and a total power COD capacity, according to shareholding equity, of 619 MW.

As part of its strategy focusing on smart and innovative digital solutions, the company has been co-developing, with PTT and Sertis, the Renewable Energy Exchange (“RENEX”) platform, a Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading system using Blockchain technology. RENEX will enhance efficiency and security of transactions and facilitate energy trading between industrial users. As part of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Sandbox, the platform will allow participating companies to freely trade solar power directly with one another via the grid network of PEA. It is currently under final preparation for commercial trading starting within this year. Once successfully implemented, the project will elevate Thailand’s energy industry to the next level by reducing energy cost for the industrial sector and boosting clean energy consumption.

Digital Platform Business – By the end of 2022, underground fiber optic (FTTx) will be available throughout 11 WHA’s industrial estates in Thailand. WHA Group will also provide infrastructure for a wireless telecom network inside WHA’s industrial estates, with the construction of 8 telecom towers scheduled this year. Thai telecom operators including AWN, True and Dtac will be able to rent spaces on these towers to install necessary devices for receiving and broadcasting network frequencies including 3G, 4G and 5G. In addition, the company still maintains 15% equity in Tier IV Supernap data center. 

WHA Digital Platform is currently spearheading the implementation of several digital innovations and technologies across all businesses of WHA. Beyond empowering the group, WHA Digital Platform is rolling out its own digital solutions. As a first step in the healthcare sector, it launched WHAbit application that aims to enhance accessibility to adequate healthcare services including telemedicine service. WHA Digital Platform is also collaborating with Samitivej Hospital to promote and develop digital healthcare.

WHA Group targets to become a tech company by 2024. As such, the Group formulated a roadmap that includes transforming operations, boosting workplace innovations, turning into a Data-Driven organization and building digital-ready culture in the organization. As of now, WHA Group has implemented a series of projects to strengthen WHA’s digital foundations as well as enhance the digital capabilities and innovation skill sets of WHA’s employees.

TRIS Rating has maintained the rating of WHA Group at “A-” level with a “stable” outlook, which reflects the sustainable and strong growth of the company’s 4 core businesses, both in Thailand and Vietnam. It also shows its capability in financial management, resulting in its stable financial position, whether selling assets to REITs as well as its ability to obtain funding from both the capital market and financial institutions to support future business growth.

Recently, WHA Group won 3 prestigious awards from the SET Awards 2022, held by the Stock Exchange of Thailand and Money and Banking magazine. WHA Corporation PCL received the Commended Sustainability Awards in the Sustainability Excellence category. WHA Utilities and Power PLC received the Best Innovative Company Awards in the Business Excellence category. WHA Industrial Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust received the Outstanding REIT Performance Awards in the Business Excellence category, reflecting the organization’s commitment to develop and expand by maximizing the use of innovation and technology to create sustainable values, adhering to business principles, and moving towards sustainable growth and development.

At the same time, WHA Group was also listed for the 3rd consecutive year by the Stock Exchange of Thailand as a Sustainable Stock or THSI (Thailand Sustainability Investment) for the year 2022 in the real estate and construction sector. WHAUP was ranked for the 3rd consecutive year in Thailand Sustainability Investment 2022: this in the resources sector. These awards reflect the organization’s commitment to achieve economic and financial growth, while adhering to ESG principles for environment protection, social well-being and good governance, and reducing the impact of climate change with smart technology and innovations. It also set the goal towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, based on the guidelines of the SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative).

Other awards received by WHA Group include the “THAILAND TOP CEO OF THE YEAR 2022” in the Property Industry category. This distinction honors top executives of organizations who transfer their knowledge and strategies to inspire new generation executives. The company was also awarded the Thailand’s Best Managed Company 2022, which strengthens the confidence of customers and stakeholders.