News Article Accolade financial report industrial leasing logistics report
by Property Forum | Industrial

Industrial developer Accolade published its year-end results for 2023. Despite lower construction activity across the market overall, Accolade’s total lease volume remained the same as 2022 thanks to renegotiations. Accolade either leased or extended the lease of existing agreements for 555,000 sqm worth of properties (of which 168,000 sqm is part of the fund’s portfolio). Furthermore, total rental income grew by 26% to €148 million (with nearly €100 million falling under the fund’s portfolio) over the course of last year. By expanding into Croatia, 2023 also saw Accolade further grow its operation through the addition of another European country.

Key figures:

  • Accolade’s portfolio reached 3.3 million sqm at the end of 2023, with 1.8 million sqm falling under the Accolade Industrial Fund.
  • The overall value of the Accolade portfolio touched €3 billion, with €1.7 billion attributed to the Accolade fund.
  • Last year, Accolade leased or extended the lease on 550,000 sqm worth of property, of which 160,000 sqm is part of the Accolade fund.
  • Compared to 2022, total rental income grew by 26%, reaching €148 million, of which nearly €100 million was part of the fund’s portfolio.

“Accolade Group’s results essentially mirror the state of the economy as a whole. Whilst we can observe a decrease in terms of pure numbers, demand lies instead in extremely large projects. One such example is the Ostrov North Park, with a total area of 120,000 sqm, or Cheb East with 60,000 sqm. The latter is currently occupied by American tyre manufacturer Goodyear. I could go on — this was not such a regular occurrence before,” explained Milan Kratina, Accolade CEO, adding that the group is currently investing in construction projects on approximately 745,000 sqm of land, the majority of which is already leased, with some of these projects being so complex that construction will continue into this year.

The total leasable area tied up in new contracts is comparable to 2022. This is the result of recently signed contracts and the renegotiation of terms with existing tenants. “In 2023, we experienced sizeable growth in tenants from the industrial sector. This again demonstrates Europe’s progress towards self-sufficiency. We are observing a definite remoulding of the industry — be it automotive, engineering, or general manufacturing firms, which keep demand steady and are looking to grow in Europe. As a consequence, we are also expanding our network of industrial parks,” added Kratina, highlighting that the group currently works with around 180 tenants across Europe.

A robotics centre and foreign expansion

In terms of the Czech portfolio, manufacturing makes up 45% and growing, e-commerce represents 40%, with logistics filling the remaining 15%. Across Europe, the division of these segments falls neatly into thirds. From a Europe-wide point of view, the largest share of the Accolade portfolio belongs to Polish projects and their 1.5 million sqm of leasable area, followed closely by the Czech Republic.

“This past year, the group saw particular success in the Czech Republic. We welcomed many new tenants who signed long-term contracts with us. In this regard, the Czech Republic benefits partially from the fact that many companies saw it as the country furthest from the war in Ukraine,” added Kratina. Notable projects included securing premises for tenants such as ZF, Wacker, Goodyear and Witte.  

Accolade now manages hundreds of thousands more square metres’ worth of sites across Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Slovakia. The group also expanded into Croatia in the autumn, with industrial sites spanning 50,000 sqm awaiting construction just south of Zagreb. Alongside this project, the group is also working on several other suitable locations to develop industrial zones.

Green projects and financing

Last year, Accolade Group successfully refinanced or signed off on several high-value loans for construction projects, the total value of which totalled close to €400 million. These were used for, among others, the new Cheb East park, with a planned area of more than 60,000 sqm, to be occupied by American tyre manufacturer Goodyear, and for the enormous facility in Cheb allocated to a global fashion chain.

“It is patently clear that banks have a real appetite to finance similar types of projects, which we see as further confirmation that modern, sustainable industrial property is, and will continue to be, an invaluable pillar of the prosperous industry. Both financing agreements mentioned are based on EU taxonomy and align with ESG principles. We are already able to state that they will be some of the greenest industrial buildings in the world,” said Tomáš Procházka, Accolade CFO, adding that one of Accolade’s projects can already boast this title.

The Cheb South park, leased to German online automotive parts retailer AUTODOC, was awarded the ‘Outstanding’ level of the prestigious BREEAM New Construction sustainability certification, achieving a record score of 94.2%. It thus became the greenest industrial building in the world.

The Cheb site is the sixth building in Accolade’s portfolio to be rated ‘Outstanding’. In addition to the two Cheb South buildings (the second facility’s tenant is Kaufland eCommerce Fulfillment), the Stříbro and Kojetín industrial parks also hold the ‘Outstanding’ level of certification, the latter being the largest building to hold this level of certification, with a total floor area of 187,000 sqm. In Poland, the industrial parks of Szczecin and Konin have also achieved this standard of certification. The total area of Accolade projects with BREEAM certification comes in at nearly 2.5 million sqm.