WHA Group Records THB4,426 Million Net Profit in 2023 with THB0.1839 Dividend Payment

WHA Corporation PCL (WHA Group) has announced 2023 earnings with consecutive top performance, reporting total revenue and share of profits of THB 17,015 million, and a net profit of THB 4,426 million, an increase of 9% year-on-year. Normalized total revenue and share of profits amounted to THB 17,003 million, while normalized profits amounted to THB 4,420 million, marking an increase of 9% year-on-year. This achievement sets a new record, reaching an all-time high in history. Recently, the Board of Directors approved an annual dividend payment at 0.1839 baht per share, an increase of 10% year-on-year. The XD will be posted on 9 May 2024 and the dividend payment is scheduled for 24 May 2024. Group CEO Jareeporn Jarukornsakul said the company remains committed to driving sustainable growth across all dimensions, with an investment budget of THB 78,700 million in 4 business hubs over the next 5 years (2024-2028).

WHA Corporation PCL or WHA Group reported its 2023 earnings, with total revenue and share of profits amounting to THB 17,015 million, an increase of 9%, and net profits of THB 4,426 million, an increase of 9%. This is divided into normalized total revenue and share of profits of THB 17,003 million, an increase of 9%, and normalized profits of THB 4,420 million, an increase of 9% YoY. This performance has set a new high record in history, driven by the outstanding performance across the business hubs, including logistics, industrial development, utilities and power.

On the same day, the Board of Directors approved the dividend payment for the 2023 performance at 0.1839 baht per share, up 10% YoY, with an interim dividend already paid to shareholders at 0.0669 baht per share. The additional dividend of 0.1170 baht per share to be proposed at the shareholders’ meeting for approval reflects the outstanding growth performance. The XD sign will be posted on 9 May 2024, and dividend payment is scheduled for 24 May 2024.

Miss Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Group CEO of WHA Corporation PCL “WHA Group”, revealed that the 2023 performance has set an all-time high record in corporate history. This underscores the success stemming from its committed leadership across the four business hubs: logistics, industrial development, utilities and power, and digital, both in Thailand and Vietnam.

Logistics Business: The logistics business has shown continuous growth in 2023, evidenced by the signing of Built-to-Suit lease agreements and the addition of ready-built factories/warehouse projects totaling 241,845 sq.m. Furthermore, short-term lease contracts with high returns covering 149,667 sq.m. have already been signed. Currently, the total warehouse space under its ownership and management stands at 2,944,522 sq.m, with an occupancy rate of 85.8%. As a result, revenue from rental properties recognized in the fourth quarter and the full year of 2023 stood at THB 314 million and THB 1,112 million, respectively.

For the WHA Mega Logistics Center Theparak Km. 21, on a 400-rai plot of land, Phase 1 has received positive responses from various industrial customers, including leading manufacturer and distributor of equipment/animal feed, who have signed a lease agreement for approximately 46,200 sq.m. and fully integrated logistics service providers, who have signed a lease agreement for a combined area of over 118,000 square meters. At present, Phase 1 of the project has customers who have shown interest to reserve and leased warehouse space to full capacity, alongside continuous increasing demand, the company has to expedite the development of Phase 2 to meet customer needs. Currently, over half of Phase 2’s area has already been reserved, with potential clients such as a major automotive parts supplier, leasing a Built-to-Suit warehouse spanning 13,000 sq.m, and a manufacturer and distributor of equipment/animal feed, who plan to lease warehouse space up to 11,000 sq.m.

As for the WHA Mega Logistics Center at Km. 23 (in bound) on a leased area of 46,000 sq.m. with the first client secured is Dynapac Pack Road Equipment (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Additionally, the company is currently negotiating with several potential customers, including leading logistics service providers. The lease agreements are expected to be signed within the year 2024.  Additionally, due to the continuously rising demand for high-quality warehouse space and factories, the company is accelerating plans to develop a new project on land spanning 300-400 rai in a strategic location for logistics.

WHA Group remains committed to developing modern office building projects. Currently, there are 5 office building projects available for lease, totaling an area over 120,000 sq.m.  The new projects include Quant Sukhumvit 25, located in the Sukhumvit-Asoke area, covering 9,900 sq.m. There is also a mixed-use building project near the Surasak BTS station, spanning 3,000 sq.m., and a Built-to-Suit medical center project covering 6,900 sq.m, which the company has already signed lease contracts with tenants and construction has commenced since last year.

In addition, the company focuses on building strategic partnerships and expanding its businesses in developing high-quality warehouse/factory projects both in Thailand and abroad. It has recently commenced construction of the first warehouse project for lease in Vietnam, spanning 35,000 sq.m. and located near Hanoi. It is expected to be completed and delivered to customers by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

At the same time, the company enhances its capabilities through innovation and technology while promoting sustainable practices. This includes the Green Logistics project, where the company will provide electric vehicles, and charging stations, and develop applications using digital technology to manage electric vehicles and batteries. This aims to support and accelerate the use of electric vehicles in the country’s transportation sector. In 2024, some customers already signed lease-purchase agreements for 25 electric vehicles. The company targets to sign contracts for an additional 1,000 vehicles in 2024.

Regarding the acquisition of shares in GCL Logistics Solutions Limited (GCL), a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical PLC (PTTGC), with a 50% ownership valued at THB 2,640 million, it is another success story from last year. This investment reinforces the expertise of market leaders of both companies, which enhances their capabilities and competitiveness to elevate customer service standards.

The company has also achieved success in selling properties and/or leasing property rights to WHART, totaling 142,896 sq.m., worth THB 3,566 million. And, in 2024, the company plans to sell properties and/or lease property rights to both WHART and WHAIR, with a target to sell approximately 213,000 sq.m. of rental space, worth THB 5,290 million. Additionally, the company aims to deliver new projects and contracts totaling an additional 200,000 sq.m. this year, with 165,000 sq.m. in Thailand and 35,000 sq.m. in Vietnam. Total assets under ownership and management are expected to reach 3,145,000 sq.m.

Industrial Development Business: In 2023, the company achieved a historic record in land sales, totaling 2,767 rai, with 1,986 rai in Thailand and 781 rai in Vietnam. It also secured Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) for 524 rai, with 452 rai in Thailand and 72 rai in Vietnam. It recognized revenue from industrial estate business in the fourth quarter and the full year of 2023, totaling THB 4,124 million and THB 7,659 million, respectively. At the end of Q4/2023, the backlog awaiting ownership rights transfer totaled over 1,038 rai, with 802 rai in Thailand and 236 rai in Vietnam, exceeding the previous year’s backlog of 468 rai. The company expects to gradually transfer ownership rights to customers within the year 2024.

The increase in land sales partially came from signing land purchase agreements with Changan Auto Southeast Asia, one of China’s 4 leading automotive groups, for 250 rai in the WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 4. Furthermore, there were land lease agreements signed in Vietnam with Fu Wing Interconnect Technology (Nghe An), a subsidiary of Foxconn Interconnect Technology, the world’s largest electronics equipment manufacturer, for 300 rai, and with Sunny Optical Technology, a major manufacturer of mobile phone lenses and related components, for 268 rai in the WHA Industrial Estate Zone 1 – Nghe An, Phase 2.

At present, the company has industrial estate areas in both Thailand and Vietnam, totaling 77,600 rai. This includes areas that are already operational and those undergoing development. Negotiations for land sales are ongoing with customers from various industries such as automotive, consumer goods, electronics, etc.

Currently, the company operates a total of 12 industrial estates in Thailand, totaling over 43,200 rai. This includes the new industrial estates, WHA Industrial Estate Rayong Phase 1, covering 1,200 rai, and is in the process of accelerating development of Phase 2, approximately 950 rai. In addition, the company has expanded its industrial estate projects by another 4 projects, including WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 3 Phase 3 covering 640 rai, WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate Phase 2 covering 480 rai, WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 4 Phase 3 covering 330 rai, and WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 2 Phase 2 covering 600 rai. Furthermore, there are plans to develop 2 new projects, namely WHA Saraburi Industrial Land Phase 2 covering 2,400 rai, and WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 5, covering 3,400 rai, which the construction is expected to commence in Q1/2025.

Regarding the industrial estate business in Vietnam, there is currently one industrial zone in operation, which is WHA Industrial Zone 1 – Nghe An, covering a total area of 13,125 rai (2,100 hectares). The company has completed the construction of Phase 1, covering 900 rai (145 hectares) already constructed, and Phase 2 covers 2,215 rai (355 hectares) under construction. Additionally, the company plans to develop 3 new industrial zones totaling 22,815 rai (3,650 hectares), including WHA Smart Technology Industrial Zone 1 – Thanh Hoa covering 3,125 rai (500 hectares) in the process of obtaining licenses and the construction is expected to commence by the end of 2024. Moreover, WHA Smart Technology Industrial Zone 2 – Thanh Hoa covering 1,875 rai (300 hectares), and WHA Smart Eco Industrial Zone – Quang Nam covering 2,500 rai (400 hectares), which the company has signed the Memorandum of Understanding agreements with local authorities in Vietnam since 2022.

In 2024, WHA Group has set the 2024 target for total land sales at 2,275 rai, comprising 1,650 rai in Thailand and 625 rai in Vietnam to accommodate continuous investment and production base relocation. In addition, the company will continue to further develop the Smart Eco Industrial Estates constantly by expanding capabilities to cover 6 key components including Smart Services, Smart Mobility, Smart Communication, Smart Power, Smart Water, and Smart Security which will be managed by the Unified Operation Center (UOC). This will be further evolved into a Total Solutions Partner for customers by providing fully integrated services.

Utility Business (Water): In 2023, the overall water utility business increased continuously, resulting in the recognition of revenue from the utilities business in the fourth quarter and the full year of 2023, totaling THB 717 million and THB 2,859 million, respectively. The total volume of water sales and management, both locally and internationally, for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2023, amounted to 38 million cubic meters and 155 million cubic meters, respectively.

The domestic water sales in Q4/2023 reached 29 million cubic meters due to the increase in raw water sale volume as a result of the increased water usage by customers in the energy sector such as Gulf SRC. There was also an increase in the sales of value-added water products driven by the growing demand for water from renewable energy customers that commenced commercial operations (COD) during Q3/2023.

The water sales and management in Vietnam adjusted upwards in the fourth quarter and the full year of 2023, with total water sales according to equity stake reaching 9 million cubic meters and 34 million cubic meters, respectively. This adjustment was driven by increased water sales from the Duong River project due to expanded service areas and increased water demand from both existing and new customer groups. As a result, the company recognized a share of losses from the Duong River project in 2023, amounting to only THB 8.3 million, down from a share of losses of THB 200.2 million in 2022. Moreover, the company continues to advance by introducing modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop a Smart Water Platform, including Smart Meter (OCR) systems, SCADA systems, and Unified Operation Center (UOC) to enhance operational efficiency and develop new comprehensive services in line with the Beyond Water concept.

In 2024, the target for water sales and management is set at 178 million cubic meters, divided into 142 million cubic meters domestically and 36 million cubic meters in Vietnam. This is to accommodate the expansion of water services both inside and outside WHA industrial estates. It will also focus on value-added water products with a target of 10 million cubic meters.

Power Business: The company recognized its normalized share of profits from investments in joint ventures and associates, excluding gain/loss from exchange rate and revenue from solar business in the fourth quarter and the full year of 2023 amounted to THB 558 million and THB 1,743 million, respectively. In Q4/2023, there was an increase in the normalized share of profits from the power business due to the recognition of profits from SPPs power plants. This increase was driven by an increase in the power sales margin to industrial customers, as a result of the higher Ft reflecting the increased natural gas costs in the past period. At the same time, natural gas costs are in a declining trend. There was also an increase in the normalized share of profits from the GHECO-One power plant due to the higher recording of Availability Payment (AP) compared to 2022.

For the solar energy business in 2023, the company signed 42 contracts for additional solar energy projects, comprising 39 Private Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with a production capacity of 50 MW and 3 EPC Service projects with a combined production capacity of 0.8 MW. This resulted in the company having a cumulative capacity of signed Private PPA contracts of 183 MW by the end of 2023.  In addition, the company had a commercial operation of solar power generation capacity of approximately 109 megawatts.

At the end of 2023, the company had a total installed capacity of approximately 733 MW. In addition, the company has been selected by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to develop solar power plants under the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme Phase 1, comprising 5 projects with a combined power production capacity according to equity stake of 125.4 MW, with commercial operation scheduled between 2029-2030.

Furthermore, the company has conducted studies on investment plans in various energy innovations, including electric vehicle charging stations, Peer-to-Peer energy trading platforms, trading of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), as well as exploring possibilities for investing in New S-Curve businesses such as energy storage systems with batteries, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies. It is also seeking opportunities to invest in public utilities and energy in various forms, both locally and in Vietnam.

In 2024, the company aimed to sign capacity of all types of power plants for a total of 1,000 MW, comprising 547 MW of conventional power and 453 MW of renewable energy, including 283 MW of solar energy.

Digital Business: The company is elevating its organizational and workforce development to become a Technology Company in the year 2024, by adopting technology to drive the organization under the “Mission to The Sun” through 9 projects aimed at digitally transforming the business. These include the Green Logistics project, which is currently developing an application – Super Driver App that integrates various services for electric vehicle business customers, such as fleet management, route optimization, and EV roaming network connection. Additionally, the Digital Health Tech project has developed the WHAbit application, which enables comprehensive health management. The company plans to begin offering application services to industrial customers in the first half of this year.

Simultaneously, the company has set goals to fully operate its business in line with the circular economy principles by the year 2050 through initiatives guided by three principles: Design & Resource, Green Products, and Operation Excellence. In 2023, all four business hubs proposed no fewer than 40 Circular Economy projects to enhance resource efficiency within the company’s ecosystem.

Ms. Jareeporn said WHA Group announced its commitment to sustainable growth in all dimensions, with an investment budget of THB 78.7 billion to drive business over the next 5 years (2024-2028) across four business hubs: Logistics THB 21 billion, Industrial Estates THB 33 billion, Utilities and Power THB 21.2 billion, and Digital THB 3.5 billion. These align with the

WHA: WE SHAPE THE FUTURE mission to shape a sustainable society, environment, and national development.

“The success of WHA Group throughout 2023 serves as a testament to the robust business potential and growth, as evidenced by several awards. Most recently, WHA Group has been chosen for the 2024 S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook for the second consecutive year. This reaffirms the group’s commitment to conducting business in line with creating social and environmental value, adhering firmly to ethical principles to drive sustainable growth. Additionally, achieving an “AAA” rating in the SET ESG Ratings for the year 2023, the highest rating level, marks the company’s fourth consecutive year as a sustainable stock. Awards such as the Best Sustainability Awards and Commended Sustainability Awards at the SET Awards 2023, the Prime Minister Award: Innovation for Global Challenge in the Competitiveness category, the Kincentric Best Employer Award Thailand 2023, the Eco-Industrial Estate Award from the Eco Innovation Forum 2023, and the Outstanding Award from EIA Monitoring Awards further highlight WHA Group’s exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability.”