- Expansion based on lease and management contracts;
- Optimisation through sale of non-strategic locations;
- Liquidity optimisation through the sale of investment property in sale-and-leaseback transactions.
Q-Park has expanded the portfolio with new lease and management contracts at strategically attractive locations. We are expanding in the clusters where we are already active, so that we gain maximum benefit from economies of scale. These are primarily long-term contracts at multifunctional inner-city locations. In 2013, the focus lay on lease and management contracts because these are less capital intensive than owned locations. To enable us to continue providing the Q-Park quality we are explicitly focusing on long-term positions.
In 2013, Q-Park continued to implement the policy previously deployed to dispose of non-strategic locations. The ownership and operation of Q-Park Newcastle Airport is one of the locations sold. We have been actively shedding parking facilities that are not a good strategic fit. In addition, a number of non-parking properties were disposed of, including offices and a hotel. A non-core business parking facility that we owned but did not operate has also been sold.
By means of various sale-and-leaseback transactions we have transformed ten owned facilities into long-term lease positions. We have used the proceeds of these transactions to meet the other investment obligations and to reduce our debt position. Q-Park continues to operate these locations. In total – including the sale from non-strategic locations – divestment of investment property amounts to EUR 137.5 million.
Currently, there is too much commercial investment property on the market. Q-Park is less involved in the development of new car parks. Moreover, there is less construction. We take our investment decisions with even more care; location is the critical factor in these decisions. It is easier to assess the value of existing projects based on previously realised revenue and their attractiveness. In relation to this reduced risk profile, Q-Park places increasing emphasis on acquiring existing projects with proven revenue. We focus on reuse and renovation of existing car parks which we take over and make more successful by improving the quality. Where possible, we also do this with our existing car parks. A recent example is Q-Park de Kolk in Amsterdam, where we have combined greater parking convenience with smart sustainable solutions, including the lighting.
Our careful decision-making process with respect to acquisitions is supported by the exposé system, which was revised this year, and which has now been assessed by the external auditor.