WDP opts for Romania as fifth country (RO/BE)

Warehouses De Pauw (Euronext: WDP) opts for Romania for the third phase of its strategic growth plan. Following the investments for the first phase of its strategic growth plan and the realization of the second phase, with the takeover of the Univeg real estate portfolio, WDP is now starting on carrying out the third phase, specifically, adding a new region to the current portfolio.

The third phase of the strategic growth plan involves moving into a new market through the addition of one or more new countries to the two current key regions. WDP has now decided and opts for the addition of Romania to its key regions.

Tony De Pauw, CEO of WDP, comments on the choice for Romania: "We opt for Romania because of its outstanding growth potential. Romania is a large country with a very young and dynamic population. With its geographic location, bordering the Black Sea, Romania is the new logistics access port to Europe, this time from the East to the Western access port of Le Havre – Hamburg, which forms WDP's home market. All the figures from various studies that are currently available indicate enormous growth potential in the coming years. The fast development of the country creates a great demand for logistics premises. Studies indicate a demand for 200,000 m² of new warehouse space per year, certainly for the next five years. WDP is working hard on the concrete development of the first projects in Romania and will be reporting on this soon.

Univeg transaction closed
WDP is also reporting the final closing of the takeover of the real estate portfolio of the Belgian fruit and vegetable concern Univeg. With this takeover, WDP will be acquiring eight sites with temperature controlled warehouses in Belgium and the Netherlands of which 90% is to be permanently leased for 20 years and 10% is to be permanently leased for 15 years to Univeg Group businesses. The initial investment comes to €100 million. The closing of the transaction took place on Friday 13 July, 2007 with economic transfer of the portfolio on 1 July 2007.

With this final closing, WDP can confirm its adjusted profit expectation and dividend expectation before 2007. WDP is expecting an operational result for 2007 of €26 million and an increase in the operational profit per share for 2007 of 10% and a proportional increase in the dividend of 10% or up to €2.72 gross per share (€2.31 net per share).

Source: WDP

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