2021 has been a very positive year for the portfolio of MERLIN Properties in Portugal, which is already close to full occupancy. This is a fact that reflects the good moment in the Portuguese market and the company's efforts to offer assets with differentiated value and in line with new trends.
Since its arrival in Portugal in 2015, the company has been increasing its exposure and now has 11 assets in the three segments in which it operates: offices, logistics and shopping centres. João Cristina, responsible for MERLIN in Portugal, says that "Portugal is a key market for us and, since our first acquisition in Lisbon, it has gained relative weight in the company's portfolio and currently represents 10% of revenues", to which he adds "as company listed on the Lisbon Stock Exchange, our commitment to this country has always been solid and we will continue to increase our presence in this market".
Despite the high occupancy rate, MERLIN continues with its strong commitment to constantly improve its assets in order to have a sustainable and efficient portfolio, but also to create spaces that offer services and experiences that contribute to improving the quality of life of people. people who use them daily.
Thus, an example of this vocation is the renovation that the company carried out recently in the Monumental building, which resulted in a unique and reference space in the Portuguese capital's office market, which is now BPI's new headquarters.
Monumental is joined by another eight assets in the office sector, all strategically located in the best business areas in Lisbon. Five of them are in the Parque das Nações area, two in the Parque Empresarial das Torres de Lisboa and the Corredor Oeste, and finally in Marquês de Pombal, the city's financial heart, with a building undergoing renovation. In total, the company has 121,000 sqm of Gross Leasable Area (GLA) and currently has an occupancy rate of 98.7%, and with large companies such as BPI, Nestlé Crédit Agricole, Novabase, BNP Paribas, Danone, Adidas and McKinsey, among others.
In the logistics area, the company is also very active with the development of the Lisboa Norte Logistics Platform, a project of excellence in full swing and which is being very well received by the market. Proof of this is the recent delivery of the first warehouse that was built, with 45,171 sqm of SB, and which is already fully occupied by companies such as DB Schenker, Olicargo and Rangel. Following the success of this lease, MERLIN started the development of a second logistic warehouse with a SB of 34,000 sqm.
Thus, within the scope of the ambitious program of logistical developments that MERLIN has been carrying out in recent years, this platform is one of its greatest exponents and its success is further proof of the excellent moment that the logistics sector is experiencing in the Iberian Peninsula . So much so that, according to demand and requests for more space received from different operators, the company will continue to develop future warehouses until the total construction area is completed. With a total of 225,000 sqm of buildable area, once completed, it will be a unique platform in Portugal, due to its dimensions and characteristics.
In the shopping center segment, Almada Forum continues to attract national and international retailers such as Starbucks, Samsung, Mango, Adidas, Swarovsky, Cat Merrel, Timberland, Fnac, H&M, Zara, JD Sports and Xiaomi, with an occupancy rate current of 99%. Almada Forum is currently the largest dominant shopping center on the South Bank, with 60,000 sqm of SBA, an area of great influence for Lisbon that has led it to become an extension of the city and a brand of the local community, with an affluence that is now gradually normalizing to approach the 15 million people who traditionally visit the mall every year.