January 30, 2012 12:00 AM
Prudence and withdrawals. Therefore, could be considered the current attitude of French developers abroad. To the point that is extremely rare, two of the most important of them, Bouygues real estate and new manufacturers refuse to communicate on the subject before the publication of their annual results. As if they feared having to announce prematurely to their shareholders of heartbreaking revisions of their strategies. The first had done, in 2007, 6.4 of its turnover outside France, indicated the year last FranÃ§ois BertiÃ¨re, CEO, the desire to "become a player of reference in Europe". Hence the presence of the company in Spain, Poland, Belgium, Germany and the Portugal. Ditto for new manufacturers which the Executive Board had, still in 2008, the ambition to grow internationally, particularly in Europe: Spain, Germany and Portugal, and in Southeast Asia: Indonesia.
Other promoters do not hide have already folded baggage on specific markets. This is the case of Constructa, who has surrendered, there is now almost two years, its American activities (trade, hotels and housing centres) to its local partner. So likewise of Pierre & Vacances in Spain. "We have arrested is new investment three years ago because we already anticipated the bursting of the bubble in this country, explains GÃ©rard BrÃ©mond, its President." And even if certain operations are unsuccessful at 50 of their initial value, we're not takers insofar as the out of the crisis there, is not foreseeable before four or five years. "BNP Paribas real estate Promotion real estate business has adopted similar behaviour by withdrawing from the country in 2007. "We were careful," welcomed Bruno Pinard, Associate Executive Director. Another withdrawal: that of Nexity, which closed the same year, Portuguese offices.
The Spain still
However, this same Nexity remains always active in Spain. But exclusively on the tertiary real estate market. Its local subsidiary is currently developing in Sant Cugat, in the suburbs of Barcelona, a park with activities of 45.000 m2 consisting of 4 office buildings, a hotel and a building essentially dedicated to the restoration. "In this country, the real estate business is much better housing and the request placed in offices remains important: approximately 500,000 m2 in Madrid and 300,000 m2 in Barcelona, said Francois Caballero, Director General of Nexity-EspaÃ±a.". In addition, Park we develop to Sant Cugat is located in the lowest prices of the market, which perfectly matches the current policy of reduction in business costs.As for the rest of the Spain, we stay on the lookout for opportunities in offices, hotels and "retail parks".
In Italy, 2 developers, BNP Paribas real estate and Nexity, does not abandon. But they play the security. "Since two years, we have a small structure in Milan who prepared a few projects, including filing for building permits for a 7,000 m2 office building and a rehabilitation of 10,000 m2 for an internal client of our group", enumerates Bruno Pinard, also President of BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Development Italia. He is also studying a project in Rome and other opportunities, "but always in accordance with our rule of never build in white."
Nexity-Italia, for its part, is currently developing a real set of offices of 32,000 m2 in Sesto San Giovanni, in the suburbs of Milan, after a logistics park of 66.000 m2 sold to a German Fund. "We now turn to the area of the hotel which enjoys a constant demand and we study open opportunities, funding, by freezing or discontinuation of operations carried out by other promoters," said FranÃ§ois BrÃ©bant, the CEO of this subsidiary. Housing, Santo Crea, President of Nexity-Residenziale, is pleased to be able "to take place in 2008 on the market due to the success of its first commercial launch in the North because, if the second half was marked by a slowdown in sales, the Italy is, among European countries, the least affected by the crisis in the sector.
Northern Europe represents for Pierre & Vacances, a preferred destination for tourist villages Sunparks (3 stars) and Center parks (4-5 stars). "In Germany, where we are located, the crisis has significantly reduced the number of institutional investors likely to be interested in our projects, recognizes GÃ©rard BrÃ©mond. However, in such periods, it is local tourism which is the better. This is why we only slowed absolutely not our development projects in that country. "And two of them: a Sunpark in a Park Center in Bavaria and Saarland. The way to overcome the scarcity of investors, the patron of Pierre & Vacances has to rely on an enhanced partnershipwith public institutions, in particular the LÃ¤nder, which could take their charge the infrastructure work or guarantee loans at highly subsidised rates.
Switzerland and Morocco: shelters
In the European North, this time in Belgium, Claude Ganter, Director General of Nexity-Belgium, is implementing a prudent strategy. "The fact that all of our projects offices, hotels and residences services are here consistently backed up their launch to institutional investors, guarantee us their proper performance." "In addition, the activity is facilitated by highly selective Belgian investors who prefer the projects prÃ©louÃ©s by future users", he said.
Both countries seem to be considered, in this difficult, as conditions of the sanctuaries of growth: the Switzerland and the Morocco. After fifteen years of absence in promotion, Constructa has reactivated its Swiss subsidiary in March 2008 and explores in Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux. "The crisis did not, in this market, impact on the willingness to invest on the part of individuals who also made gains, said Julien Ganier, Director of partnerships of the group.". For them, the Switzerland is a country well for and safe. "Marc Achard, Director marketing and sales of the group specialized in luxury tourism residences, Garrigae confirms. "Until then exclusively implanted in the Mediterranean South of the France, we decided, last summer to launch, in the canton of Valais, a program of 64 apartments, directly accessible to the ski slopes, which should be completed in the summer 2011" We strive as an international clientele and French expatriates in the far East.
The Morocco interested very closely Pierre & Vacances. "We are constituted a land Corporation with local institutional to create tourist stations of 500 apartments autour of a water park," says GÃ©rard BrÃ©mond." We have 2 projects in Marrakech on a 100 hectare, the other in Agadir. "Moreover, the group is a residential project secondary for seniors who wish to allow their grandchildren. He continued also in Rabat, Casablanca and Tangier, master of work activities in the construction of urban residences called Adagio, in association with Accor. An association which operates also in Basel, Vienna, Munich, Berlin and Budapest, Great Britain and Russia.
Always in the Morocco, Constructa has just signed a first contract with SociÃ©tÃ© GÃ©nÃ©rale Asset Management to build 2 office buildings in Casablanca. "And in addition in this city, we prospectons in Rabat and Tanger to intervene as an assistant to owner or Board based on local investment funds," Announces Julien Ganier, which also refers to negotiations underway in Abu Dhabi in tertiary real estate, or even in housing, to resume operations launched by proponents having failed.
A very international vision
All promoters, GSE, which is defined as a general contractor delivering turnkey buildings, is certainly the vision of the international market is the most acute. Half of its turnover 2008 between 600 and 650 million euros was indeed carried out abroad, where this group specialized in logistics half of its business , industrial buildings and, recently, commerce, including shopping centres, is present in all countries of Western Europe, most of Central Europe and Eastern, as well as in China. "We are little affected by the crisis, says BenoÃ®t Eschbach, its Director General Assistant in charge of development. Our turnover in 2008 increased by 30 and, in view of our order book, it should be at least in 2009. "The reason: the diversity of its markets and its geographical location. "Logistics, for example, operators demand falters not even if now it launches more projects in white." The countries of Western Europe remain attractive and activity is fairly sustained Spain and Germany in the Benelux and relatively good in Great Britain and Italy. To the East, the Poland is for the time being spared while we feel a slowdown in Romania. The Ukraine, on the other hand, is down. For us, we will develop a territory that we had never addressed, Scandinavia, while we have projects in the Morocco and Algeria. "In the industrial field, EMS does not feel the crisis. The company thus has to build units for Procter & Gamble in Germany and Poland, Indesit in Poland and PSA in Germany. In China, she comes from a very large contract with Alstom. Finally, in trade, GSE currently leads operations in Romania and Bulgaria for French customers and negotiates with Germans and Austrians in Croatia and Serbia, finally, with the French and the British in Poland.