All GTC buildings in Poland now with green certificates

  • Artico, a GTC’s A-class office building in Warsaw, has been awarded the “Very Good” BREEAM certificate. 
  • All GTC developments in Poland are now certified green.
  • Once again, the company has demonstrated its dedication and consistency in delivering sustainable solutions with health and well-being of its tenants in mind.

GTC, a leading developer and asset manager in Central and Eastern Europe, has been awarded the Very Good BREEAM certificate for one of its Warsaw assets, the Artico office building. Thus, the company has successfully completed the green adaptation process for all its Polish commercial assets. The achievement follows a consistent implementation of the company’s sustainable strategy.

The total of 18 GTC’s buildings in Poland have now confirmed their BREEAM or LEED status. GTC is the owner and the manager of a number of office buildings in the largest Polish cities, including Warsaw, Kraków, Katowice, Poznań, Wrocław and Łódź. Also GTC’s shopping malls: Galeria Jurajska in Częstochowa and Galeria Północna in Warsaw were awarded green certificates.. This is a great achievement, as only few retail facilities in Poland meet the necessary requirements to be certified. The certifications received by all GTC’s assets prove the company’s strong focus on securing tenants’ well-being.

“I am proud that we accomplished certification process for all our buildings in Poland. As a socially responsible company we care about environment and we keep investing in sustainable solutions. We are focusing on well-being of our tenants. It is important for us to shape workplaces where people feel good, safe and effective” commented Yovav Carmi, the President of the Management Board at GTC.

Artico is an A-class office building in Warsaw. It offers 7,600 sq m of lettable office space spreading over eight floors. There are also 153 parking places and 80 underground bicycle racks available to tenants. The building is located in the Mokotów business district. Artico boasts convenient access to public transport, such as the metro line and a number of tram and bus stops. The main tenant is CBRE Corporate Outsourcing.

The LEED and BREEAM green certifications are among the global most popular multi-criteria building assessment systems. They promote healthy, efficient and economical green solutions for commercial buildings, in line with ecology and environmental protection.

GTC expands tenant portfolio in Bulgaria

  • IKEA and Bershka will be new tenants in the Mall of Sofia – one of the most successful shopping malls located in the city. As a result of these agreements, GTC will lease 2,000 sq m of retail space in the centre. 
  • GTC has signed the deal on the extension of World Bank in Advance Business Center II, an A-class office building located in a vibrant business district in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

GTC, a leading developer in Central and Eastern Europe, has signed an agreement with IKEA and Bershka to lease retail space in the Mall of Sofia. Moreover, GTC Bulgaria has also contracted with the World Bank for the expansion of office space in the Advance Business Center II office building. These activities testify to good profitability and tenants’ interest in leasing office and retail space even during the pandemic.   

GTC Bulgaria has successfully completed the year by signing an agreement with two new tenants – IKEA and Bershka to lease the retail space in the Mall of Sofia. IKEA plans to open its new 1,200 sq m concept in May 2021. The tenant will move in after the modification of the building, as a result of which, a new office tower, Sofia Tower 2, will appear on top. 

In May next year, Bershka, a clothing store for teenagers, will also open in the Mall of Sofia. Inditex, the owner of Bershka, has just signed a contract for the lease of 800 sq m of retail space. 

This is not all good news. A year after signing the contract for office rental in Advance Business Centre, World Bank decided to extend the office space by another 650 sq m. As the result, the World Bank will rent 4,650 sq m of high quality, innovative office space in A-class Advance Business Centre II office. The building is due for deployment in the nearest future. It is LEED Gold pre-certified. 

GTC has a long and successful history on Bulgarian market. It is strategically important for us to develop our portfolio here and invest further, especially as we see a growing demand for premium class office and retail space. The clients appreciate perfect location of our projects, well-designed interior, and amenities available inside and outside our investments. But we don’t want to be seen as an investor only. We are doing our best to be a good neighbour and responsible corporate citizen. That is why organize many community and charity events. For example, now we run a big charity campaign to collect dry food for people in need, in which our tenants actively engagecommented Danny Bercovich, Country Head at GTC Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, GTC currently operates three projects in use – Mall of Sofia, Sofia Tower, and Advance Business Centre I. The company also has two office projects under construction – Sofia Tower 2 and Advance Business Centre II.  

Mall of Sofia is located at the intersection of the two busiest roads in the centre of the Sofia. The building benefits from its strategic location through immediate connection to multiple bus, trolley, tram stops and the metro station only 3 minutes away. The mall enjoys high customer frequency among residents.  

Advance Business Center II is the second GTC landmark office development set within Business Park Sofia. Besides being well-communicated by public transport and ring road to the center and all major entry-exit points of the city, the office complex is surrounded by a diversity of service and entertainment facilities, such as fitness center, cinema, beauty salon, Hotel Park Inn, cafes and supermarkets. 

Malwina Pawłowska joins GTC team

GTC, one of the leading commercial real estate companies in CEE, has appointed Malwina Pawłowska to the position of Head of Marketing & Communication, the appointment is dictated by her extensive and in-depth sector knowledge.

Malwina Pawłowska is marketing and communication strategist with over 17 years of experience gained in various multinational companies. Prior to joining GTC, she held the position of Head of Marketing & Communication Department at Skanska Property Poland, being responsible for corporate and product communication, media relations, crisis management and positioning the corporate brand on a country scale. She was also a member of extended Management Team.

Before that, Malwina was a part of Ghelamco’s communication and PR team, including 2 years as Head of Marketing & PR. She bears the responsibility for creating and implementing company’s marketing and PR strategies as well as corporate communication of the key investment projects such as Warsaw Spire, Plac Europejski, Plac Grzybowski or Wołoska 24. Apart from that, Malwina Pawłowska has gained extensive experience in Virako, Ciszewski Financial Communications and Neiniver. She is also a member oftheUrban Land Institute, the oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate experts in the world.

Nowadays, marketing should strongly support sustainability and innovation to create products and shape the business. I intend to develop GTC’s possibilities using market advantages to show an environmentally-focused corporate mindset of the company. I believe that my knowledge and experience will contribute to strengthening the position of GTC’s on the Polish market” – said Malwina Pawłowska, newly Head of Marketing & Communication.

Malwina graduated International Marketing and French Studies at the University of Lodz, Business and Management in the ESTICE – International Management.

Strong earnings result despite COVID-19 impact

Q3&9M 2020 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Investment grade rating of BBB- from Scope Rating
  • Gross margin from rental activity at €32m in Q3 (€33m in Q3 2019) and at €91m in 9M (€94m in 9M 2019), despite impact of Covid-19 amounting to €2m in Q3 and €10m in 9M
  • Operating profit: profit before tax and fair value adjustments up to €21m in Q3 (€15m in Q3 2019) and at €52m in 9M (€53m in 9M 2019)
  • FFO I increased 5% to €54m (€52m in 9M 2019), FFO per share at €0.11
  • EPRA NAV at €1,174m as at 30 September 2020, EPRA NAV per share at €2.42 (PLN 10.95 at EUR/PLN 4.5268)
  • Solid financial metrics
    • LTV at 45% (44% as of 31 December 2019)
    • WAIR at historical low of 2.5% (2.6% as of 31 December 2019)
  • Cash and cash equivalents amounted to €139m as of 30 September 2020

Q3&9M PORTFOLIO HIGHLIGHTS

  • OFFICE: RESILIENCE CONTINUES
    • Occupancy remained strong at 94% as at 30 September 2020 (95% in December 2019)
    • No collection problem
    • Spiral office building sold in October 2020
    • New lease agreements for a total of 10,000 sq m signed in Q3 2020 including:
      • Extension and prolongation of Barry Callebaut lease in UBP B, Łódź (6,000 sq m)
    • Additionally, Generali signed a pre-lease in Matrix B, Zagreb for 2,500 sq m
    • Commencement of construction of Sofia Tower 2
  • RETAIL: GRADUALLY RETURNING IN Q3 2020, BEFORE SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19 IN NOVEMBER
    • Occupancy remained strong at 93%
    • Footfall at 76% in September 2020, down to 69% in October following increased number of infections
    • September sales on average at 87% vs last year, down to 83% in October 2020 following increased number of infections
    • Still higher conversion and average basket
    • Expected further decline as Polish malls practically closed between 7 and 27 November 2020
    • Loss of rental revenues due to impact of COVID-19 of €10m in 9M 2020
    • Collection rate at 92% in 9M 2020
    • Temporary discounts in return for material extensions allowed to keep the WALT at 3.7 years as of 30 September 2020 (4.0 years at 31 December 2019)
  • Retailers continue to expand: largest Sinsay in Poland signed in Galeria Północna (2,700 sq m)

“The third quarter of 2020 showed some improvement, before we saw a second wave of COVID-19. The office sector remained resilient, while the retail sector was gradually returning to its pre COVID state with tenants’ turnover achieving on average 87% of 2019 numbers. We kept our occupancy rate virtually unchanged as our team responded effectively to the challenges of COVID-19. On the financial side new completions during last 12 months allowed us to offset a decrease in revenues resulting from pandemic situation and lead to 5% increase in FFO underpinned with strong collection rates. We commenced Sofia Tower 2, a class A office building above our Mall of Sofia shopping mall and we closed sale of Spiral in October looking forward to the next opportunities in the region to grow further our office portfolio. All our efforts and healthy Groups situation were confirmed with investment grade rating BBB- by Scope Ratings which we did in preparation for green bonds issue on Hungarian market.” – commented Yovav Carmi, GTC’s President of the Management Board.

Generali signs lease for Matrix B in Zagreb

  • Matrix B is an A-class office building which is part of GTC’s Matrix Office Park in Zagreb and is due to be completed in Q4 of 2020.
  • Recently, both buildings of Matrix Office Park received LEED Platinum certification which is yet another confirmation of GTC’s commitment to developing sustainable buildings.

The GTC Group celebrates another success on the CEE market as its Croatian office has signed a lease agreement with Generali, an international insurance company for over 2,500 sq m of modern office space in Matrix B.

“Zagreb is a relatively small and still developing market. The newly signed lease agreement, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic environment, demonstrates very good progress and shows evidence of office demand in this market. Matrix Office Park is a green champion and our great pride in terms of implementation of innovative ecological solutions in our developments” – said Yovav Carmi, President of the Management Board at GTC.

The agreement with Generali assumes the lease of over 2,500 sq m of A-class office space with dedicated parking lots in both, underground and outdoor parking space. Generali plans to move in at the beginning of May 2021.

“We have put a lot of effort into creating a state-of-the-art office building which provides top quality office space to the Croatian real estate market in all aspects of modern planning, ranging from aesthetics to energy efficiency. Our tenants appreciate this special care put into creating our developments that meet their most stringent standards. We are satisfied seeing that our hard work has been recognized by a company such as Generali” commented Arn Willems, Country Manager at GTC Croatia.

Matrix B offers 10,700 sq m of outstanding A-class office space. The tenant portfolio includes, among others, Olympus, BASF, Spaces (Regus) and L’Oreal. Matrix A and Matrix B were granted LEED Platinum certification in February 2020 and in October 2020, respectively. This is yet another confirmation of GTC’s pro-ecological business mindset and further increases the already over 80% level of owned properties within its portfolio that have been awarded a green certificate.

GTC SA achieves investment grade rating of BBB- from Scope Ratings ahead of green bonds issuance

A German rating agency Scope Ratings has assigned a first-time issuer rating of BBB-/Stable to Globe Trade Centre S.A. and its subsidiary GTC Real Estate Development Hungary Zrt.  GTC Group  also announces green bonds issuance within the framework of the Bond Funding for Growth Scheme  launched by the National Bank of Hungary. The senior unsecured debt rating is BBB-. The outlook on the ratings is stable.

When substantiating the rating, Scope underlined GTC’s unique position in the CEE and SEE market, as well as healthy property portfolio and pipeline.

“The achievement of the investment grade rating for GTC SA is a historical milestone for the company and reflects our unique position in CEE and SEE market, diversification of our high quality portfolio in attractive locations and overall credibility.” – said Yovav Carmi, President of the Management Board of GTC.  

“With an investment grade rating GTC Group will be provided with an access to international capital markets as we will diversify bond investor base by offering green bonds under Bond Funding for Growth Scheme. This will provide us an access to unique sources of long-term financing. The new funds will enable further growth of the asset portfolio. Issuance of green bonds will confirm our approach towards environmental and sustainability topics thus creating an important new benchmark” – added Ariel Ferstman, CFO and Management Board member  of GTC.  

According to Scope, GTC’s risk profile benefits from the company’s market position as one of the largest publicly listed real estate companies in CEE and SEE, managing approximately 715,000 sq m office and retail space. The agency also underlines, that GTC’s portfolio predominately comprises relatively new properties (weighted economic age of under 10 years). This, combined with 340,000 sq m development pipeline, supports healthy tenant demand. It attracts international, blue-chip tenants with investment grade credit quality, keeping occupancy rates at around 95%.

GTC’s financial risk profile outlook for GTC is Stable, reflecting the agency’s view that the company’s portfolio will continue to grow profitably, with the impact of Covid-19 on cash generation addressed by reduced capital expenditure and the suspension of dividends.

The rating has been published ahead of the Group’s contemplated green bonds issuance under the MNB Bond Funding for Growth Scheme which was implemented by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) to increase the liquidity of the local bond market. The issuer would be GTC’s subsidiary, GTC Real Estate Development Hungary Zrt. The senior unsecured bond as well as all future debt of GTC Real Estate Development Hungary Zrt. will be irrevocably and unconditionally guaranteed by GTC SA. Proceeds of the contemplated issue are expected to be earmarked to refinance property loans and to finance redevelopment, construction and acquisition of LEED/BREEAM certified assets and will be allocated in line with the Guarantor’s Green Bond Framework. GTC is planning to close the issuance of the green bonds still this year.

Scope is a privately-held rating agency based in Berlin. It specialises in the analysis and ratings of financial institutions, corporates, structured finance, project finance and public finance. The company is registered in accordance with the EU rating regulation and operating in the European Union with ECAI status.

Neither this press release nor the ratings issued by Scope constitute a recommendation to buy, hold, and/or sell securities and/or other financial instruments issued or relating to the Company and/or make any other investment and/or forgo any of these actions.
Neither this press release nor the ratings issued by Scope constitute investment advice and/or financial advice, nor do they address the appropriateness of any given investment for any specific investor, in particular retail investors. Each potential investor should seek and obtain professional advice in respect of his/her investments.
This press release is neither an offer of securities for sale, nor a solicitation of an offer to purchase/subscribe for securities, in any jurisdiction.

GTC completes the sale of Spiral

  • GTC has sold one of its Hungarian assets, Spiral, an A-class office building with a total leasable area of 30,541 sq m.
  • The development is located 5 minutes from the city centre next to Váci út Corridor and just a few hundred meters from Nyugati Railway Station.

The leading real estate investor and developer in the CEE region, GTC, has released information that they sold their Spiral, an A-class office building located in Budapest, Hungary. The sale will generate EUR 41m of free cash.

Spiral provides a total of 30,541 sq m of leasable office space situated next to Váci út Corridor, one of the most popular office destinations in Budapest. The building was completed in 2008 and offers six floors of offices and four underground parking levels. The building has a single office occupier leased to the Hungarian National Asset Management Inc and the remaining space of 1,896 sq m is leased to a restaurant and a fitness centre operator.  

We believe the time has come to refresh our portfolio in Hungary by selling mature assets in order to make room for new, exciting acquisitions and developments. The sale of Spiral is in line with this strategy and will provide net cash to finance new acquisitions, as well as implementing our new development projects such as the Pillar and Center Point 3 office buildings. said Yovav Carmi, President of the Management Board of GTC.   

GTC will continue to hold four substantial modern office buildings located in Budapest: Center Point 1 and 2 with lettable area of 40,900 sq m, Duna Tower offering 31,300 sq m of office and GTC Metro of 16,200 sq m. The Pillar office building, presently under construction, is fully pre-leased and this is a remarkable result in the Hungarian market. Pillar is GTC’s latest highly visible landmark development.

Double platinum for Matrix Office Park

  • Two of GTC’s A-class buildings, Matrix A and Matrix B, have received LEED Platinum certification.
  • As part of the Matrix Office Park, Building A was commissioned in Q1 2019. Building B is currently under construction and expected to be completed in the coming months.
  • The complex is situated in a prestigious location within the Zagreb business district at the intersection of Radnička Street and Slavonska Avenue, two of the most important city roads.

GTC, a leading real estate investor and developer focusing on the CEE region, expands its portfolio of green projects. The Matrix A and Matrix B office buildings have both been granted LEED Platinum certifications. Thus, 80% of all GTC’s office properties now proudly bear an eco-friendly label. 

Matrix Office Park is a modern business center located in Zagreb, which will provide a total of approximately 75,500 sq m of leasable space. The first building – Matrix A – was completed in the first quarter of 2019 and offers 10,800 sq m of office space, while the second building to be completed in Q4 2020 will offer an additional10,700 sq m of modern office space. So far, the tenant portfolio of the property includes, among others, Spaces (Regus), L’Oreal and VeniTure.

We have noted that people desire to spend time, either leisure or work, in quality surroundings and thus we have created our office park with concern for the environment which is at the heart of our corporate strategy. We have endeavored to implement our sustainability-focused mindset to provide exceptional office spaces ensuring the ultimate care for our tenants and their well-being. commented Yovav Carmi, President of the Management Board of GTC.   

LEED certification encompasses all elements of the construction – from the selection of organic and safe materials, through energy efficiency and environmental protection, to the insistence on exceptional air purity, natural lighting and overall functionality, adaptability and comfort while using the building.

Galeria Północna to be the home of the largest Sinsay store in Poland

Galeria Północna has just signed an agreement with LPP to relocate its Sinsay store. The deal will result in the largest brand store in Poland with over 2,600 m2. A grand opening of the two-storied showroom featuring the greatest selection of fashionable Sinsay clothing and accessories is scheduled for this year.

A wide choice of products, attractive pricing and spacious area. That’s a new Sinsay showroom in a nutshell, which is to open with a stunning total of 2,665 m2 of area on two floors of Galeria Północna in mid-December.

From the very start, we have aimed to act outside of the box. We are the first shopping center with a roof garden and a brine graduation tower. We were also the only ones to feature a butterfly conservatory and an insect exhibition. A new Sinsay store is yet another project of this scope. None of the stores to date has had such a grand area or offer. We are delighted to see an important player on the market – the LPP chain – choose Galeria Północna as a seat for the largest Sinsay store in Poland. We are confident it will translate into increased footfall for the store and the entire galleria as well as the level of customer satisfaction”, said Roman Bugajczyk, Galeria Północna’s Managing Director.

Sinsay’s customers in Galeria Północna will undoubtfully be surprised to see the spaciousness of the store as well as its modern design. The interior of the store with its dominant white color of the walls, floors, and furniture will provide the perfect background for the colorful and varied fashion offer of the brand. Metal furniture and large-screens correspond with the bold, expressive Sinsay collection which is designed to be full of ideas to play with fashion this season.

We are certain that those into experimenting with style and clothing will be able to find a great number of fascinating offerings, ranging from T-shirts and dresses through trousers, blouses and shoes, bags and accessories in our store. There is no doubt that our selling point is great prices combined with a large selection of products presented in a spacious, modern area providing our customers with a sense of comfort, said Magdalena Banacka, Sinsay Visual Communications Director.

Despite the pandemic and a resulting range of restrictions, Galeria Północna’s offering is constantly growing. Recently, a brand new Food Hall has been opened in the shopping center. It is a combination of four, newly established restaurants on the Warsaw market, including Zdrowia Smak, La Terra Cafe, La Terra Pizzeria, and Burger Booth. Together, they create a unique place on the culinary map of Warsaw, which draws in clients not only with a tempting menu but also with its atmosphere and interestingly designed interior. The galleria is also full of new attractions. At the time when all shopping centers were closed, Galeria Północna received a new mural on the roof as well as two new playgrounds. On the other hand, a new arcade place has been opened and the outside playground has been expanded with a zip line.


About Galeria Północna

Galeria Północna is the first large-format 4th generation shopping center in northern Warsaw and the first modern shopping galleria to have been launched in Warsaw for over a decade. The facility with over 64,000 sq. m is located at Światowida 17 street. The GTC Group is the investor and manager of Galeria Północna, which opened on 14 September 2017. According to the GTC Group’s estimate, over 750 thousand people live in the proximity of the facility, mainly young people and families with young children. The target group has been reflected not only in the shopping offer but also in the architectural design of the building. Designed by APA Wojciechowski and Tzur Architects, the building features a special roof arrangement enabling active relaxation in its green area.

In April 2019, the galleria received a brine graduation tower on its roof – the first one to be opened in a shopping center in Poland. The beginning of Q3 also saw the first butterfly conservatory in the Mazovian Voivodeship to be opened in the recreational part of the galleria. The facility also meets the highest ecological standards as confirmed by the international LEED Gold certification. Galeria Północna guarantees a shopping, entertainment, and service offer unavailable before its opening in the north-east part of Warsaw. Visitors to the galleria may choose from among 200 stores, boutiques and service points of well-known domestic and international brands, a food court, an 11-room Cinema City, Fikołki playground, Zdrofit fitness club, and 2,000 parking spaces. The list of tenants includes, among others, the first Junior store in Warsaw, LPP Group stores, TK Maxx, H&M, Martes Sport, RTV EURO AGD, Media Expert, CCC, Carrefour with a full-format hypermarket, Bierhalle and the Enel-Med medical center. More at: www.galeriapolnocna.pl

Yovav Carmi appointed as President of the Management Board of GTC

GTC Supervisory Board has appointed Mr. Yovav Carmi to the position of the President of the Management Board of GTC.

Mr. Carmi has over 26 years of professional experience in finance and real estate and has worked for GTC for the last 19 years. The period with the company has given him an in-depth knowledge of GTC’s operations and activities in the region. On joining GTC in 2001, Mr. Carmi was initially responsible for the financial operations as the Chief Financial Officer of GTC in CEE and since July 2015, he has held the position of GTC’s Chief Operating Officer. The newly appointed President has also been a member of GTC’s Management Board between 2011 and 2015 and currently since April 2020.  

„Leading GTC as President of the Management Board, gives me a unique opportunity, with my colleagues on the Management Board and the GTC team, to further develop the company’s’ growth strategy to make it even better suited to the challenges and opportunities ahead. I am confident GTC has the perfect combination of talent and unique assets to reach new heights. With a clear vision, dedication and drive on the one hand and a strong cash position and rebounding market indicators on the other, I plan to boost GTC’s development portfolio and acquisition plans to increase the value for its shareholders”commented Yovav Carmi, newly appointed President of the Management Board of GTC

Prior to joining GTC, Yovav Carmi gained professional experience with Ernst & Young as an auditor (1994-1996) and as an investigator with the Israel Securities Authority (1997-1998).  From 1998 to 2001, he held the position of a financial controller at the Kardan Group.  

“I am pleased to introduce Yovav Carmi as a new President of GTC’s Management Board. His in-depth understanding of the real estate markets in the region combined with the knowledge of GTC’s activities gained over the years makes him a perfect candidate for this demanding role. The post requires remarkable leadership skills and I am confident that GTC is in good hands to achieve even further success” – said Zoltan Fekete, President of GTC’s Supervisory Board.  

Yovav Carmi graduated from Tel-Aviv University where he obtained an MBA, as well as BA in both law and accounting.