MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
On behalf of the directors and executives of Singha Estate Public Company Limited
Over the past 6 years, Singha Estate has performed its operations with stability, by dint of hard work and persistence of its visions and strategies imparted as a foundation covering all areas of business. Steady profits are generated through a mixture of revenue streams: residential, commercial and hospitality businesses. Grasping investment opportunities and acquiring potential new businesses ensure that the Company continues to expand. Effective financial management is organized to support business growth. Human resources management is a key driver for success. Building the Company’s brand to gain reputation and credibility, adhering to the principles of good corporate governance, and commitment to sustainable development are the Company’s top priorities. All these factors made 2019 another successful year for the Company, in which all the targets were achieved as planned.
TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The Company develops its business based on the philosophy of harmonious coexistence in economic, social, and environmental aspects through good governance principles to create balance and sustainable values for all stakeholders. The Corporate Governance and Sustainable Development Committee has set goals and guidance for all departments within the organization under the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In addition to coral reef conservation and restoration, an activity that has been ongoing every year, Santiburi Koh Samui was certified as a carbon-neutral resort this year, providing a model for greenhouse gas management that can be replicated in other businesses under the supervision of the Company in the future.
Singha Estate is committed to integrating corporate social responsibility into its business operations (SD In-Process), focusing on reducing its environmental impact at the source. Under our watchful eye, construction waste reduction and disposal, as well as optimum use of office space, are evident in our approach to property development. This is to ensure that the Company’s sustainable way of doing business complement one another in all aspects from land to ocean. Such an approach depends on a well-coordinated collaboration within the business value chain. For example, we must work closely with the contractors to jointly examine the impact of a construction project on the environment, we exchange a body of knowledge with regard to sustainable development, and we set occupational health and safety standards to safeguard the quality of life of the contractors accordingly.
In addition, it is the Company’s hope that each of its investments helps improve the quality of life, distribute income, and enhance the community economy for better living to benefit people in the community while sharing values and growing together sustainably.With the continued determination and commitment to conduct its business on the philosophy of sustainability, in 2019, Singha Estate was, for the first time, named one of the companies on the Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) list for 2019 by the Stock Exchange of Thailand, not to mention this was the first year we joined the assessment. The achievement marks a positive step in the Company’s course of becoming a leading global holding company well-recognized by the stakeholders in the future. This was also the first year that the Company prepared a sustainable development report separately from the annual report to ensure that the disclosure of information is in accordance with the internationally accepted standards and to promote sustainable growth.
Moreover, Singha Estate is dedicated to developing corporate governance mechanisms, such as governance of subsidiaries and associates based on equal treatment of shareholders, anti-corruption policy, etc. By virtue of such dedication, the Company received a five-star Corporate Governance (CG) rating, which reflects upon its status as a leading company in good governance. Both recognitions are excellent encouragement for the Company to keep the standards up and continue to create value for the stakeholders.
SUCCESS AMIDST SLUGGISH PROPERTY MARKET
Overall, the Company’s operating results for the year 2019 achieved growth as targeted, mainly attributable to profits from the residential and commercial businesses while the hospitality business took a hit from one-time operating expenses.
In 2019, Thailand’s residential sector experienced a decrease in growth compared to 2018: a 5% decline in the number of units and a 16% decline in the project value. The key external factors driving the shrinkage are direct – i.e. the Bank of Thailand’s loan-to-value (LTV) regulations governing mortgage lending – and indirect – i.e. the global economic downturn as a result of the trade war between USA and China, lowering the purchasing power of both Thai and international consumers. Nevertheless, the residential property along the skytrain routes and terminal stations is still in high demand with great potential for the purposes of residence and investment. Consequently, the Company was able to transfer ownership of the completed condominium units to the buyers as targeted. Both The ESSE Asoke and The ESSE at SINGHA COMPLEX – because they are located in the center of the city with connections to the skytrain, plus the effect from the LTV measures provided less impact to the clients of both projects, resulting in a significant increase in revenue compared to the previous year.
One of the other two main businesses is commercial and retail, a segment with the least fluctuation. Owing to a stable income generated from lease agreements for periods ranging from one to three years; a mixed-use concept combining working space, retail space, and restaurants into office buildings at Singha Complex and Suntowers Complex; and a balanced proportion of different client groups, the commercial segment has always been a crucial revenue base of the Company. In addition, at the beginning of the year 2020, the Company acquired Metropolis, an office building located in the center of Sukhumvit with high growth potential, in order to expand its commercial segment.
The hospitality business has grown from 2018 following the acquisition of hotels managed under Outrigger brand in mid-2018 and the opening of 2 hotels and retail space in the Republic of Maldives within the CROSSROADS project. It is expected the hospitality business in 2020 will generate maximum returns for the Company from all the hotels strategically placed across 39 major tourist destinations around the world.
LISTING HOSPITALITY BUSINESS ON STOCK EXCHANGE FOR CONTINUAL GROWTH
To realize its business expansion plan for steady growth, the Company listed its hospitality business on the Stock Exchange of Thailand to raise funds that would benefit both the Company and S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited (SHR). A portion of the funds raised were used to repay the loans for acquisition purposes. As a result, the Net Debt to Equity ratio (D: E) and the financial costs of the Company and SHR decreased significantly. At the end of 2019, the D:E ratio was 0.77 times. This enhanced the Company’s capacity to invest and generated stable cash flows. The remaining funds combined with stronger financial potential will be able to buttress the development of projects and continue to expand the business. Post IPO and listing, the Company still maintains a 60% shareholding in SHR, thus making SHR a subsidiary of the Company. As a major shareholder of SHR, the Company will ensure SHR to expand in the hospitality business both domestically and internationally in the long run.
TOWARDS BECOMING GLOBAL HOLDING COMPANY
Becoming a global holding company is Singha Estate’s long-term plan for the purpose of continual growth and value creation for its shareholders. In order to succeed, the Company must prepare an organization structure that can effectively drive the business, knowledgeable and dedicated personnel, and funding available for timely business expansion. To that end, the Company has set up a structure that allows independent management, which consists of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Company and its subsidiaries: Nirvana Daii Public Company Limited for the residential business, and S Hotel and Resort Public Company Limited for the hospitality business. This is to enable effective management under the framework of corporate governance and select and develop a team with different skills to work together during the rapid growth of the Company while building loyalty to the organization. At the beginning of 2019, the Company raised funds through the establishment of S Prime Growth Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (SPRIME). It also listed the hospitality business on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at the end of the year, which was integral to further growth.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and executives, we would like to thank our shareholders, joint investors, customers, and all stakeholders, including local and international financial institutions, for your continued trust and support. We would also like to extend our appreciation to all staff members for their dedication in helping the Company achieve its goals amidst many challenges throughout the year. It is our belief that, with the commitment of the management team and all employees to steady and sustainable growth, Singha Estate will bring pride and deliver sustainable values to all stakeholders while pressing ahead with its plan to become a global holding company.
Mr. Chutinant Bhirombhakdi
Mr. Naris Cheyklin
(Chief Executive Officer)