Chairman´s and Founder's Introduction to the Annual Report 2016
2016 will go down in history as one of the most interesting years for Bulk Infrastructure. We have made our mark as a 10-year-old company. We have seen the first buildings rise and become visible results at the data center park, N01 Campus, and we have strengthened the company through organic growth and the acquisition of Data Center Technology. We are proud of our vision: Racing to bring sustainable infrastructure to a global audience – so there is no time to stand still! However, at a milestone like this I need to look back at what we have achieved and how we got here. The forgiving markets of our last five years make it easy to forget the challenge it was to get through our first five.
Like so many others we started up in 2006 at a peak in the Norwegian real estate market and spent our first investments buying land for developing logistic parks at aggressive prices. What was to follow was a series of defining moments that have tested our strength and our character. It was not easy to see it at the time, but it is clear to me now that our strategy and our values (page 8) are what got us through.
During the financial crisis from 2008 we saw both banks and investors running for the hills at the same time. This caused a lot of stress on our small organization at the time but with the high quality of our people we got through. We have since strengthened our organization, become
a controlling investor and now have alternative means of financing from co-investors, banks and bonds. As we do not control time to cash flow in N01 Campus and Bulk Networks, we have chosen not to use external financing for these investments. We now stand robust but nimble to make decisions at any sudden surprises or opportunities in the market.
As an investor we have delivered an annual IRR of 34% over our 10 years in spite of all the upfront investments in our Digital Logistics sector. Based on our capabilities and excellent people, I therefore remain very optimistic about 2017 as we expect to produce returns also in data centers and fiber networks by the end of this year.
I hope you will enjoy the 2016 annual report!
Chairman and Owner