- Welcoming the return of investors
- Confident in continuous sustainable growth
- Ready to turn into a Tech Company in 2024
Bangkok, September 29, 2022 — In a Thai economic environment marked by a series of positive recovery signals and a promising investment outlook, , WHA Corporation Public Company Limited (WHA Group) delivered solid growth across its four business hubs - Logistics, Industrial Development, Utilities and Power, Digital Platform - during the first half of 2022 (1H2022). The Group’s normalized revenue and share of profits reached THB 4,400 million, an increase of over 30% year-on-year (YoY). As of 30 June 2022, the group’s total assets amounted to THB 86,400 million, with a maintained credit rating of “A-“.
WHA Group anticipates all-time high performance in 2022, with an estimated growth of normalized total revenue and share of profits of 20% and an EBITDA margin in excess of 40%. In Q4 2022, the company also targets to divest assets of 208,000 sq.m to WHART and WHAIR , worth THB 5,400 million in total.
“In line with our growth strategy and our 5-year investment plan of THB 50,000 million that started this year, we will continue to implement our digital transformation roadmap across all our businesses, applying smart technologies and innovations, while maintaining a strong balance sheet and generating positive returns for our shareholders,” said Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman and Group CEO, WHA Corporation PCL.
A Promising Outlook for 2022 and Beyond
WHA Logistics is expected to achieve a stellar year 2022 following an impressive performance in the first half and more projects to be delivered in the second half. The outlook is promising with the launch of new high-value logistics properties and office solutions. WHA Logistics continues to actively focus on providing smart and innovative value-added services to its customers including via collaboration with startups.
In 1H2022, WHA logistics delivered 194,300 sq.m., comprising of 98,200 sq.m. of new projects and new contracts plus 96,100 sq.m. of short-term contracts. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting impact on consumer behaviors resulted in an increase in demand for short-term warehouse rentals especially from consumer goods, e-commerce, express delivery and 3PL. For the remaining of 2022, new logistics projects representing over 51,000 sq.m. will be delivered. In addition, 2 new mega logistics projects and the expansion phase of WHA Mega Logistics Center Theparak KM. 21 will be launched, altogether totaling over 420,000 sq.m.
To provide more value-added services to its customers, WHA Logistics continues to explore smart technologies and innovations including through collaborations with startups. Areas under studies include smart warehouse, applications of quantum computing, green transportation.
Following its equity investments in a self-storage specialist Storage Asia and e-logistics startup Giztix, WHA Group recently invested in another two e-commerce startups. One is a B2C e-commerce startup, Mercular, specializing in hobby lifestyle and technology products. The other is a B2B e-commerce venture, Mungmee, aiming to revolutionize Thailand’s traditional trade by integrating digitization, advanced technology and data in the supply chain. Through these investments in startups, WHA aims to create synergies and integrate their activities in its established logistics ecosystem, including premium warehouses and distribution centers.
WHA Logistics also offers 6 prime office locations for rent, with full facilities and superior design, representing a total of 100,000 sq.m. of world-class office spaces in Bangkok and Samut Prakan, including WHA Tower’s new headquarters in Bangna. The latest office project WHA KW S25 Project is expected to be completed mid-2023.
WHA Industrial Development (WHAID) is reinforcing its leadership position in Thailand while expanding in Vietnam on a national basis. 1H2022 land sales reached 513 rai in both Thailand and Vietnam.
In Thailand, WHAID is the most-ready industrial developer to capture upcoming investments with over 4,250 rai of industrial land available for sale, all situated in strategic locations. The development of WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate is fully completed with an initial area of 1,281 rai. Construction of the 573-rai expansion phase of WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 4 (WHA ESIE 4) will be completed this Q4 2022, while construction of WHA Industrial Estate Rayong (WHA IER) is expected to start this October.
Earlier this month, 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, with operations expected to start in 2024 and an annual capacity of 150,000 electric passenger cars. 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). To date, WHA Group can proudly claim it is home to 277 automotive manufacturers from all over the world.
In Vietnam, following the success of its project in Nghe An Province, WHA Industrial Development continues its strategy of industrial expansion in select key provinces. WHA Industrial Zone 1 - Nghe An 900-rai Phase 1 is now fully completed and is equipped with the highest quality infrastructure, utilities and environmental care. Seventy-six per cent of Phase 1 is leased to customers whose activities span across sectors such as automotive parts, food processing, solar energy, building materials and electronics with the largest recorded FDI investment in Nghe An Province of USD 500 million. With anticipated high demand for industrial land, the company is accelerating the development of the subsequent phases with construction of Phase 2 (2,215 rai) underway.
In addition, WHA Industrial Development is currently planning and in the approval process of one industrial zone in Thanh Hoa Province (5,625 rai including expansion). Thanh Hoa is Vietnam’s 3rd largest populated province in Vietnam and benefits from a strategic location with proximity to Hanoi and Lach Huyen deep seaport. ‘WHA Smart Technology Industrial Zone – Thanh Hoa’ located nearby the province’s main city, is poised to capture demand from high value technology investors and expand Vietnam’s ‘Northern Technology Corridor’.
In Central Vietnam, WHA Industrial Development has recently signed a MoU for a third project in Quang Nam Province of (2,500 rai). ‘WHA Smart Eco Industrial Zone – Quang Nam’ will also be strategically situated at the heart of the Central region including proximity with Danang and Quang Ngai Province. The future industrial zone is well-suited to welcome clean and high-tech manufacturing industries in the automotive, mechanical, electrical, electronics, telecommunication, medical, and logistics sectors.
WHA Utilities and Power (WHAUP) is growing its Utilities business inside and outside the Group’s industrial estates, both in Thailand and Vietnam. It is also enlarging its power portfolio and developing innovative renewable energy solutions, in particular in the solar energy business.
In Utilities, WHAUP continues to expand products and solutions focusing on value-added water products, such as premium clarified water and demineralized water. In Thailand, during 1H2022, WHAUP increased its water supply and wastewater management volume, as well as value-added water supply volume, by 10% and 19% YoY, to 62.3 million m3 and 2.5 million m3 respectively. WHAUP has recently completed a new water treatment plant and wastewater treatment facility in WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate, with a total capacity of 3.3 million m3/year. In terms of value-added products, a premium clarified water project for new Small Power Producers (SPPs) has also been completed with a total capacity of 1.4 million m3/year, while a demineralization plant in Asia Industrial Estate, with a capacity of 1 million m3/year, is nearly finished. Additionally, WHAUP secured water demands from heavy-consuming customers including power plants, healthcare, solar panel and EV automotive companies.
In Vietnam, where WHAUP has 3 water projects in operation, the Utilities business recorded a significant growth of 22% YoY in 1H2022, to 12.8 million m3 due to an increase in customers base and water supply coverage area
In Power, WHAUP continues to broaden its portfolio mainly with the development of renewable energy, especially solar power. As of 1H2022, a total of 62 equity MW of solar rooftops are in operations while another 64 MW is under construction. In addition, 15 new solar projects were signed in 1H2022 with industrial users, representing a total capacity of 34 MW.
With a capacity of 19.4 MW, one of the largest solar rooftop project in ASEAN, for Prinx Chengshan Tire (Thailand), is expected to be delivered by the end of this year. Altogether, the cumulative signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) of solar rooftop portfolio is expected to reach 150 MW by the end of this year.
As part of its strategy focusing on smart and innovative digital solutions, WHAUP 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. The project is being launched with first-wave participation from 54 leading customers within WHA's industrial estates. 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.
WHA Digital Platform is empowering WHA businesses by building the digital infrastructure and implementing digital technologies. It also launched its first innovative product with an aim to enhance accessibility to adequate healthcare services and solutions.
By the end of 2022, underground fiber optic (FTTx) will be available throughout 11 WHA’s industrial estates in Thailand. WHA Digital Platform 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, 2 data centers were successfully monetized in 1H2022, generating a profit of THB 345 million. To date, WHA Group still holds 15% equity in Tier IV Supernap data center.
WHA Digital Platform is currently driving 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. It is also exploring technologies to develop new business models with the plan to launch Meta W, the 1st Industrial Metaverse designed to enhance customers’ experience and strengthen the Group’s businesses in the digital era.
Fully committed to sustainable development while fostering environmental protection, social promotion, and good governance, WHA Group is also determined to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“For WHA Group, the year 2022 will mark a double step forward: firstly, the country’s reopening and the subsequent economic recovery in the post-Covid era saw the return of investors, with significant deals and value-added projects across our four business hubs. Accordingly, we are confident that we can achieve the 2022 targets set at the beginning of the year for all 4 business hubs including a higher land sales target of 1,650 Rai. Secondly, the implementation of our ambitious 5-year investment plan of THB 50,000 million including our digital transformation roadmap will pave the way for our long term success, towards our net zero target and our upcoming status as a tech company,” said Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman and Group CEO, WHA Corporation PCL. “More than ever, we look forward to the future with confidence and optimism. Backed by our group’s strong fundamentals accumulated over the past 30 years, today’s new technologies and innovations open a wealth of new opportunities that we are determined to seize for the benefit of all our stakeholders, including our customers, employees, shareholders, business partners and, ultimately, the entire Thai society at large,” she concluded.