Grosvenor significantly improves its financial performance and plans further diversification into real estate, food and agtech

VANCOUVER, BC, May 25, 2022 /CNW/ – Grosvenor, The Vancouver based international organization whose activities cover urban real estate, food and agtech, management of rural estates and support for philanthropic initiatives, recorded a significant improvement in the returns of its financial results for the year ending on 31st December 2021 – while continuing to provide strong support to tenants and communities affected by the lingering effects of Covid-19.

Grosvenor logo (CNW Group/Grosvenor)

Mark PrestonChief Executive Officer of Grosvenor, said:

While ongoing restrictions and lockdowns remain a feature of our markets, decisive action in response, coupled with an improving economic environment, has helped us achieve a significantly improved financial performance over the prior year.

“This revived business has gone hand in hand with an ongoing commitment to support and find new ways to help our tenants, connect with our customers and help the wider communities of which we are a part.

“During the year, we have made good progress in reducing our carbon emissions to reach net zero in our directly managed operations by 2030 and be fully net zero by 2050. We are now well advanced in the conducting a baseline audit of our carbon emissions across our various businesses and developing credible carbon reduction plans.At the same time, we are also investing in technologies that can disrupt the carbon-intensive practices of the global food system.

“For the first time in our history, this year’s annual review reports on all of our activities. In addition to the development, management and investment of, and in, international urban real estate, they include Grosvenor Food & AgTech’s growing investment portfolio of some of the industry’s most innovative companies working towards a better food system, the management of rural estates and their environmentally sensitive habitats, and details of our support for initiatives charities for vulnerable young people.

“Presenting Grosvenor as a single, cohesive organization aims to better explain what we do and the positive impact of our activities, while encouraging better collaboration, synergies and innovation across our organization to deliver sustainable business, social and environmental benefits. »

Commenting on the company’s urban real estate business in United States and Canada, Steve O’ConnellGeneral Manager of Grosvenor’s North American real estate business, said:

“Every aspect of our North American real estate business contributed to our success in 2021; our teams were very active as we participated in the economic recovery that unfolded in the second half. We also made significant progress in our environmental and social policy ambitions by setting our path to Net Zero in 2030 and completing our first cycle of GRESB reporting.

“Our business in 2021 reflects the diversity of our business; the strength of our portfolio of owned properties has led to strong capital gains. We have advanced our significant development pipeline and executed the third iteration of our True North partnership for our structured development finance program.

“In Canada, we had a very good year. We have delivered the tallest passive house building in British Columbiacompleted a 39-story residential tower, exceeded our condo sales targets and advanced a large-scale mixed-use development site in Greater Vancouver that will provide approximately 3,500 new homes to the area.

“With our 2030 Net Zero trajectory established and sustainable capital improvement projects underway across our properties, I am confident that our business, social and environmental ambitions will position us well for continued growth as our cities return to normal and that the next generation is attracted to their many attributes.”

Commenting on Grosvenor’s main business areas, Mark Preston added:

“Our international urban property the business continues to benefit from the industry and geographic diversification we have pursued since the 1950s. Earnings on sales increased to CAD 171.8 millioncompared to C$68.7 million in 2020. The total return of 5.2% was helped by positive revaluations.

“Our improved performance was largely driven by trading earnings and strong valuation performance in North America and in our Diversified Property Investments business, with particularly strong valuations in the logistics sector. UK and European performance recovered with improving rent collections, but valuations remained subdued London grappling with the impacts of Covid.

“We also experienced more difficult trading conditions in Asiawhere Covid-related restrictions have proven the toughest and longest-lasting.

“Among other sustainability initiatives, we are investing C$154.3 million in a renovation program to make our London more energy-efficient properties while overcoming complex planning challenges related to the listed status of more than 1,500 of them. Our development pipeline includes over 5.3 billion Canadian dollars of potential projects mainly intended for the United Kingdom and North America where we also continue to expand our financing program to create residential, mixed-use and affordable housing programs in our core US and Canadian markets. Meanwhile, we also continue to further diversify our international co-investment business which encompasses activity in Polish logistics, Australian medical facilities and Brazilian student accommodation.

“In our food and agribusiness business we have undertaken C$137.1 million in new investments, adding exposure to five exciting new companies, gaining exposure to fermented proteins and plant-based meat substitutes. The sector provides opportunities for commercial revenue as well as improving the way food is grown, produced, distributed and consumed for the benefit of human health and the environment.

“Positive impacts of our investments in agribusiness and agtech include: providing a plant-based alternative to polystyrene and bubble wrap offering a sustainable packaging solution; investing in and opening up new markets for jackfruit, a sustainable alternative to fibers and proteins and the recovery of phosphorus from wastewater to produce ecological fertilizers.

“Our rural estatesBusiness activities are primarily centered around Grosvenor Farms, one of the UK’s leading dairy and agricultural farms, a rural estate portfolio of over 700 properties and, from this year, a new timber production business : Grosvenor TimberWorks. Their impact and reach go well beyond their commercial gain (a small profit of 4.1 million Canadian dollars) through their contribution to the environment and local communities – from planting 430,000 trees, to producing milk with the lowest carbon footprint in the UK, to restoring populations of Atlantic salmon and trout from sea to Scotland.”

Look forward

“The pandemic has accelerated the need to re-evaluate our assumptions about consumer needs and trends, business models and growth projections that we were already reconsidering in light of increasing socio-economic, demographic, technological and environmental changes.

“As part of this process, we have reviewed and reassessed our capital allocation plans across our business operations. In our international property businesses, in the UK and North America, we will increasingly focus on vibrant, diverse and well-connected locations to diversify our rental income and sector mix. In Asia and Europe and the rest of the world, we will significantly expand our diversified real estate investment business, which over the past 10 years has successfully developed a third-party co-investment model with like-minded specialist managers through joint ventures and funds.

“We believe this approach will help us successfully access new markets and, in particular, broaden our sector mix, increase our overall returns and further diversify our global real estate portfolio.

“Within food and agtech, we plan to invest significantly both in our existing portfolio and in new businesses that meet our criteria, encompassing both revenue-generating investments at a early and mature stage Our ambition is to double the amount of capital we allocate to this sector over the next 10 years.

“But amidst all these changes, our values ​​and our long-term perspective remain at the heart of everything we do. As we implement our many and diverse international and industry businesses, we are simply trying to find the right balance between wanting to meet the needs of today while assuming responsibility for those of future generations, that is, fulfilling our mission to bring a sustainable commercial, social and environmental benefit.

“We are deeply troubled by Russia invasion of Ukraine and the devastating loss of life and humanitarian crisis that followed. We support relief efforts in various ways and are proud that the duke of westminster has chosen to contribute, via the Westminster Foundation, C$861,600 in the early days of the relief effort.

“While we are optimistic about the Western world’s economic rebound from the pandemic, the economic threats posed by the war in Ukrainehigh inflation, high debt levels and slowing growth China make us cautious about the general outlook.”

SOURCE Grosvenor

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