WDP performed well in 2017 and the prospects remain good. Mickael Van den Hauwe, CFO at WDP, takes one last look at the past but mainly focuses on a bright future. The financial expert explains how WDP will make its portfolio grow from its own strengths, what the pillars of the five-year growth plan are and what motivates WDP.
Accomplished more, faster and at better terms
Mickael Van den Hauwe is satisfied with the balance sheet of this past year: “WDP performed better than expected. In concrete terms, profit increased by a nice 6% per share, year on year, including 14% more outstanding shares as a result of the capital increase at the end of 2016, with which we have strengthened the balance. We were also able to increase our dividend by 6%.” But, work is also being done for the future. “Today, after only 2 years or 40% of the plan period, we have already identified 750 million or 75% of the 1 billion intended portfolio growth which was targeted in the 2016-20 Growth Plan. So, we have done more, faster and at better terms (by focussing on project developments). That, in turn, has led to an upgrade of our profit outlook for 2020 to 7.00 euros (previously 6.50 euros) based on a total intended investment volume of 1.25 billion euros (previously 1 billion euros).”
More of our own project development in 2018-20
“Today, we see sufficient potential within the existing market and with our current customers for filling in that last 500 million in investments,” Mickael assures us. “To achieve that, we have reinforced our strategic land holdings in order to continue to guarantee the growth of WDP and that of our customers in the future. After all, at the end of 2017, they amounted to approximately 100 million euros. So, in other words, with the goal of growing from our own strengths.”
Profitability as the greatest motivation
Of course, every business wants to continue to expand. Yet, WDP does not want to grow just for the sake of growing. “For our customers, we try not only to realise great projects but to also be a good partner afterwards. But we also give the shareholders a starring role in our success story: Our rising profitability, the result of the growth of our portfolio, is measured by an increase in the profit per share and in the dividend per share. The combination of the interests of the customer with those of the shareholder is our most important motivation and lies at the foundation of our business philosophy.”