UPDC Grows Portfolio, Now Hub for Real Estate, Asset, Facility Management Business

Bennett Oghifo

The management of UPDC Plc., a foremost real estate company in Nigeria, has successfully positioned the company as a hub for all aspects of the real estate business in the country, complete with a cumulative growth rate of over 15.6% from 2018 to 2023. 

As things stand, UPDC is the go-to company for property development and management, facility management, real estate investment trust (REIT), and this year, it floated an advisory arm.

The Managing Director of UPDC, Odunayo Ojo, a seasoned player in the real estate turf, told journalists about UPDC’s financial strenght, saying  “In terms of our revenue, we’ve seen a cumulative growth rate of over 15.6% from 2018 to 2023 and we’ve seen that the rate of growth of the company has been tremendous over the last 3 years. So, if you compare what our turn over was in 2021 when we started the turn-over in 2021 was N825 million for the whole year but as at 2023 our turn-over was   N5.3 billion, which is a significant growth within that short period. Also, if you look at our operating income from a loss making position in 2018 definitely came back to profitability in 2022 and in 2023 we were also profitable in spite of some of the harshest economic and business environments this country has faced in the last 30 years. UPDC has been able to deliver year on year profitability since we started this new feature and in terms of gross profit from the loss in 2018 the company started delivering gross profit from 2021 and it has grown progressively over the last 3 years from N1.3 million to N1.6 million in 2022 to  N1.6 billion in 2022 to N1.9 billion in 2023 and in terms of profit before tax we’ve also seen a resurgence from a loss making position in 2018 to a profitable position N331 million in 2022 and N380 million in 2023. So, what this tells us is that UPDC is on track to profitability and has been able to turn this ship around and every year we are progressively improving.”

He said in terms of other income, year on year, we’ve seen see an increase of about 8% from 2022 to 2023 and that of our comprehensive profit for the year, it has been a huge jump between 2022 from N7 million to N675 million which is over 9000% increase year on year and in terms of our debt finance cost, we continue to restructure our finances such that the contribution of our debt to performance is properly matched.” He said, “Our hospitality business contributed 16% to our turn-over and our facility management business contributed 7% to our turn-over to deliver a total of N5.3 billion.”

Mr. Ojo discussed the boosters of the company’s growth, presenting their recent product, which is its Advisory Role, saying In 2024 we launched our advisory arm. We’ve been doing this in other places, but right now UPDC is fully exploring advisory space where we assist our clients in managing their real estate portfolio. Our services cut across eight different service areas, which include asset management, development management, property management, marketing management and research.”

He said, “Through these services we are able to cover almost all the chain of real estate services and practice. So, under each and everyone of these service areas, we have different services that we provide, which includes development management and that’s effectively services that we render to some investors who do not have the capability for day to day management of the project. So, we go in there and conduct some studies and site selection up to the delivery of the project and we are currently doing that for some clients. 

“We also are involved in asset management for institutional investors and corporate organization with large portfolio of real estate, we help them direct the investment strategy to get the best out of their assets we are also involved in property management which effectively ensures that whoever owns real estate as an asset can get the best out of that asset through sales and management and the likes. 

“We are also providing research support to investors. So in a nutshell, UPDC is pushing itself as the number one real estate partner across the country. 

On the growth of their business, the managing director said, “In 2021 we started looking at revenue diversification which led to our involvement in some things like property development, management and services, we also have our Festival Hotel, in order to diversify our income stream. We also refocused the client-base of UPDC. 

“Traditionally, UPDC has been known to focus on the high-end of the market, Ikoyi, and Victoria Island but we realized that where the critical mass was, was in the middle class and if you recall last year we announced that we were going to use projects to cater to the middle class. That’s where the critical effective demand is and we saw that the high end of the market was becoming a smaller part of the whole market. 

“And then we started also looking at diaspora again. In recent times, we all know what has happened to the valuation of the naira and we’ve had to refocus our attention on Nigerians in the Diaspora. It’s also a policy of this present government to see how remittances from abroad can be improved. So, we are playing our own part in ensuring that Nigerians in the diaspora have the opportunity to invest back home and the company’s products, are safe and are credible and that has been very successful over the last couple of months. We are also looking at institutional investors, especially in our business, we believe that this market requires very strong real estate partner in terms of expertise and that’s what we provide for additional investors. “We are a service organization and customer satisfaction is key to us and we listen to our customers and make sure whatever business they do with us including partnerships we have legacy stakeholders, we have very strong best of aids in Custodian and in UAC and with this strong alliances that we have, clients will benefit from a lot of strategic analysis.”

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