Interview with Serge Grzybowski, Chairman and CEO of Icade
"If this year 2012 met our expectations, it is thanks to the effectiveness of our property investment development model and the continuing of our strategy of refocusing Icade's activities on the commercial property sector".
How would you assess 2012?
As a promise kept! We announced double-digit cash flow growth in 2012, and we achieved this, despite a difficult economic environment. If this year met our expectations, it is thanks to the effectiveness
of our property investment development model and the continuing of our strategy of refocusing Icade’s activities on the commercial property sector.
This year more than any other has shown the solidity of our financial structure, with a fall in the average cost of debt, the extending of its maturity and the diversification of our sources of funding.
2012 also saw the active letting of our commercial buildings and the continued development of our portfolio of clinics, which makes Icade Santé the leading French healthcare property investor with 55 clinics owned worth more than €1.7 billion. This division was been so successful that we decided to open it up to 4 major life insurance partners. Strategically, this diversification is helping to generate major cash flow for Icade, allowing it to finance new commercial property developments.
Another strength is the refocusing of our retail property development activity on block sales, which has ensured that sales and the backlog have held up well despite an uncertain environment
This year has called for discernment, a fighting spirit and internal cohesion. Thanks to our teams’ constant efforts, our ability to give priority to quality over quantity in our choice of investments, our management of the risks relating to our developments and excellent relationships with our clients, banking partners and shareholders, Icade was able to stay on course in 2012.
How is Icade approaching 2013?
In a still uncertain market, we are approaching this new year with realism and confidence.
For Icade, 2013 will above all be a year of consolidating the industrial and financial logic of Icade/Silic, with whom we are planning to combine in the coming months. This new combined entity will be the leading office property investment company in the Paris region, with nearly €10 billion of assets and nearly 2 million m² of land reserves to be developed over the long term.
This change in scale will confirm the effectiveness of our model, thanks to the coherence of the businesses operated by Icade and Silic. We complement each other geographically and will have a strong presence in the 5 major development zones in the Paris region, with a diverse offer of existing products or products to be developed, allowing us to offer our clients made-to-measure property solutions.