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WHA slashes investment spending


WHA slashes investment spending

Lockdown measures lead to lower budget

Ms Jareeporn is upbeat on the domestic economy in the second half.

SET-listed WHA Corporation PCL, Thailand’s largest developer of built-to-suit logistics facilities, has maintained its revenue growth of 30% in 2021 but needs to cut its investment budget from 9 billion baht to 6.1 billion baht due to lockdown measures in Thailand and Vietnam.

The rise in total revenue from 9.4 billion baht last year is seen as having come mainly from global economic recovery despite reports of Covid-19 infections in many countries, including the US.

Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, WHA chairman and group chief executive, said she believes the company’s core businesses, including logistics and industrial estate development, will continue to generate revenue, with no serious impact from the pandemic.

“WHA is confident that the domestic economy in the second half of this year will be better than that of the first half. We are beginning to see signs of recovery in stronger global trade, which benefits Thai exports,” she said.

The company expects the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme, which is aimed at developing a high-tech industrial hub, to help restore the Thai economy as investment projects, especially in automotive and electronics segments, continue to increase.

This year, WHA’s investment budget is expected to be lower than the 9-billion-baht target because the lockdown measures in Thailand and Vietnam have caused it to delay new investment projects.

The budget will be allocated for logistics, new land purchases for industrial estate development, and infrastructure development projects in industrial estates, said Ms Jareeporn.

The company plans to launch three new industrial estates in Thailand by the end of this year.

Its joint venture with IRPC Plc, the petrochemical arm of PTT Group, to develop WHA Industrial Estate Rayong, is scheduled to start operations in the last quarter of 2022.

WHA also plans to develop two new industrial estates — WHA Smart Technology Industrial Zone and WHA Northern Industrial Zone in Thanh Hoa province in Vietnam — covering a total area of over 7,500 rai.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2023 or 2024.

WHA currently has a total of 11 industrial estates in Thailand and one industrial estate in Vietnam.

Earlier this year, the company set a target to sell 1,033 rai of land in industrial estates in 2021 but later revised down the numbers to 820 rai.

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