There is still a great deal of concern about global warming, and it is still unclear whether lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic will be necessary in 2022. On the other hand, there is still a lot of real estate that needs to be developed worldwide, especially in residential, logistics and healthcare real estate. This will require a lot of capital, and this capital is available.
Given its market position, its size and its organisation, Bouwinvest is in a good position to contribute to this. In 2022, our first priority will be to implement the agreements with our investors, as included in the fund and mandate plans. In addition, Bouwinvest will continue to develop along the three main themes from the strategic plan: professionalisation, responsible investment and controlled growth. The development of new product/market combinations is part of this controlled growth.
All-important at this point, however, is the war in Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion of the country in early 2022. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rapidly escalating events in late February and into March 2022 are a very tragic development for the people of Ukraine and these disrupted business and economic activities in the region and globally. These events and resulting economic uncertainties may have a negative impact on Bouwinvest, including on the valuation of its holdings and/or cash flows. At this time, it is not possible to estimate the financial impact of this crisis, either globally or for Bouwinvest. Bouwinvest regularly screens its business associates, including against sanctions lists. Recent checks against sanctions lists, specifically with respect to Russia and Belarus, have not resulted in the identification of any violations of these sanctions. Also, there are no other material consequences that impact Bouwinvest’s ability to continue as a going concern. Bouwinvest will continue to monitor developments and evaluate any possible consequences for the organisation.
Result and profitability
For 2022, Bouwinvest is forecasting a result after-tax of € 3.1 million (actual 2021: € 6.5 million). Implementation of the strategic plan and the continued professionalisation of the organisation will result in higher costs. Bouwinvest's profitability largely depends on:
The development of the management fee, which depends on the Net Asset Value (NAV) of our funds and mandates;
The composition and development of our workforce;
The development of operating costs and to a significant extent project-related costs.
The management fee is based on the approved fund and mandate plans. For 2022, Bouwinvest has reduced the management fee for the Dutch funds to 48 basis points, from 50 basis points on invested capital. The estimated management fee is based on the premise of economic recovery and the fact that the vaccinations against the Covid-19 virus (and its variants) are effective.
Bouwinvest will have to increase the number of its staff to achieve the objectives laid down in its strategic plan. Staff development depends on filling vacancies. If Bouwinvest fails to fill these vacancies in line with the plans for 2022, Bouwinvest anticipates a shift between permanent staff costs and the costs of hiring external staff.
In the 2022 budget, other operating costs are € 1.4 million higher than in 2021. These costs develop in line with the growth of the organisation. Bouwinvest expects project-related costs to come in at € 2.5 million in 2022 (actual 2021: € 1.8 million). Whether Bouwinvest realises this figure will depend in part on the capacity of the project organisation and the availability of the necessary internal and external staff.
Financial position and solvency
With the exception of its short-term borrowing, Bouwinvest is almost fully financed with equity and had a strong solvency of 72% at year-end 2021. Based on the estimated result for 2022, Bouwinvest expects solvency to increase to 76% at year-end 2022, based on the adopted budget.
At year-end 2021, Bouwinvest had € 37.8 million in current account balances with its principal bank ABN AMRO. Bouwinvest could also cut costs, although these cuts could affect its strategic objectives.
Bouwinvest expects to increase its total workforce to 228 FTEs by year-end 2022. This represents an increase of 31 FTEs compared with 2021 (197 FTEs). Bouwinvest considers this increase necessary if it is to achieve the objectives of its 2020-2022 Strategic Plan. In addition, Bouwinvest is setting ever-higher demands for client service, internal controls, risk management and compliance.
If Bouwinvest achieves the planned growth in staff numbers, personnel costs will amount to € 31.8 million in 2022. This is a growth of € 2.6 million compared with the actual figure for 2021 (€ 29.2 million). The budgeted costs for external staff are projected to decline by € 0.4 million, while the budgeted costs for permanent staff is set to increase by € 3.0 million.
In recent years, Bouwinvest has invested in improvements to its office building in Amsterdam. Bouwinvest estimates investments for 2022 at € 0.9 million, largely for the transformation of its standard workstations, new telephones and the upgrade to SAP BW/4HANA.