By David Winning
SYDNEY--Goodman Group forecast another year of growth in operating profit, but said it expects to keep its distribution unchanged as it navigates the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Goodman forecast an operating profit of 1.165 billion Australian dollars (US$834 million) in the 12 months through June, 2021. If achieved, that would represent growth of 9.9% on its A$1.06 billion operating profit in the just-ended fiscal year.
Still, Goodman said it would likely hold its distribution flat at 30 Australian cents per security.
"Goodman has deliberately positioned its business over the past decade to maximize sustainability of earnings in varying market conditions," said Chief Executive Greg Goodman.
Goodman's outlook was provided alongside a 7.6% fall in net profit to A$1.50 billion in the 12 months through June.
Goodman said its property was 97.5% occupied at the end of June, with like-for-like net property income growth of 3.0% over the past year. Its gearing--a measure of debt relative to equity--fell to 7.5% at the end of June from 9.7% a year earlier.
Total assets under management of A$51.6 billion, and external assets under management of A$48.0 billion, both increased by 12% from fiscal 2019.
Many real-estate investment trusts have found their business models shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, with offices empty as staff work from home and shopping malls locked in a battle to recoup rent from hard-hit retail tenants.
In contrast, Goodman stands to benefit from many changes brought about by the pandemic--evidenced by its shares hitting a record intraday high of A$18.05 earlier this month. Goodman ended Wednesday trading at A$17.70.
Goodman has invested in data centers that are in demand as companies rely more on cloud computing as staff work from home. With lockdowns forcing the closure of non-essential businesses in many countries, retailers are turning more toward online orders and delivering goods directly to the door.
Write to David Winning at firstname.lastname@example.org