In 2021, as global uncertainty and market disruption continued, our agile culture helped us embrace the changes we were presented with. The determination and talent of our people shone through.
Our results demonstrate this, as well as the team’s alignment of consistently owning properties around the world, close to consumers. We delivered profitability, maintained a strong balance sheet, and stayed true to our purpose.
Goodman’s financial highlights include an operating profit of $1.2 billion, statutory profit of $2.3 billion and assets under management that grew to $58 billion. Our balance sheet remains strong with gearing of 6.8% and available liquidity of $1.9 billion. Globally, our Group and Partnership properties achieved a revaluation uplift of $5.8 billion, reflecting the portfolio’s quality. Distribution per stapled security was 30.0 cents, and net tangible assets increased 14.4% to $6.68 per security.
During the year, we have continued our concerted efforts to make ESG fundamental to our business. Goodman’s long-term approach continued to engender positive economic, environmental and social outcomes for our business, our stakeholders, and the world.
As providers of essential infrastructure, sustainability is crucial to Goodman, and we are proud that our global operations achieved carbon neutrality this year. Around the world, we made progressive choices and changes to our operations to achieve this carbon neutral result well ahead of our 2025 target.
The breadth of Goodman’s portfolio gives us valuable insights across geographies. Globally, we saw evidence that our consumer-centric approach to growth in targeted locations was meeting our customers’ requirements for faster speed to market. Meanwhile, our properties continued to provide opportunities for automation and for higher utilisation of space to allow for greater supply chain efficiency.
Global online sales increased 30% in 2020*, fuelled by e-commerce and the consumption of digital media and services. We saw a direct correlation between consumer habits, customer demand and our infill strategy.
Goodman has been positioning itself for this demand for several years. Our strategy is serving our customers well and during the year we leased 3.9 million sqm of space and our portfolio occupancy remains high at 98.1%. This supported the like for like growth in rental income of 3.2%.
Our Partnerships achieved average total returns of close to 18% while maintaining strong credit metrics. External assets under management reached $54.0 billion with $18.1 billion liquidity in the form of equity commitments, cash and undrawn debt. We also completed $3.1 billion of asset sales across our Partnerships – primarily in Europe where we have continued to refine our investment strategy. Strong demand for industrial assets globally resulted in demand from capital partners seeking to invest alongside us.
Our financial performance, high occupancy rates and rental growth are the result of our strategy to own assets in markets where barriers to entry are high, land is scarce, and demand is robust.
We continued to deploy capital to support our organic growth strategy, which saw our development workbook increase to $10.6 billion. Our global work-in-progress is spread across 73 projects and 12 countries, and the depth of demand is leading to a high level of lease pre-commitment.
Goodman leads in the urban regeneration of logistics sites around the world. This expertise has grown more valuable, with the sustainable redevelopment of brownfield sites in high demand by our customers and these are supported by the public sector. Such developments are beneficial to the environment as they reduce the amount of greenfield land developed and re-use existing infrastructure. Infill locations, meanwhile, tend to be close to consumers, which provides our customers with faster speed to market and lower transport related emissions.
Globally, Goodman continued to work with planning authorities and local municipalities on innovative land use developments – an endeavour of greater mutual benefit where planning authorities are conducive to the increased utilisation of space, including multi-storey buildings which comprise approximately 50% of what we are currently developing around the world.
By accelerating the scale and timing of our sustainability goals, Goodman achieved carbon neutral global operations four years ahead of our 2025 target.
Collectively with our contractors and customers, we are working to decarbonise our development projects. We believe it is critical to examine the impact of steel, concrete and other materials and processes. As such, we have established a framework to measure the volume of embodied emissions in our development projects globally. This will enable Goodman to reduce or offset embodied carbon in the future.
Our sustainability goals are progressive, appropriate and aligned with our customers’ and investors’ aspirations. They reflect our obligation to act decisively on climate change, to reduce the risk of obsolescence and to ensure the future performance of our assets.
Throughout the year, Goodman Foundation remained steadfast in its efforts to help its charitable partners not only survive but rise to the challenge of the pandemic. It was a time to back our many charity partners who knew what their communities needed most, and to be generous and flexible in how we supported them through one of the most challenging years imaginable.
Flexible working is the new normal at Goodman. We have created an agile, technology-enabled working environment, which prioritises health, safety and wellbeing for our people around the world. Flexible working suits our culture and global operations. It also protects our teams and increases our productivity and diversity. Furthermore, it opens up opportunities for our people – particularly caregivers and parents.
We view our people as owners in the business. All Goodman employees participate in our Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP), which aligns their interests to those of our securityholders and helps us to retain key talent and maintain low turnover. The financial framework around our LTIP encourages long-term decision making and underpins personal responsibility.
We are committed to inclusion and diversity. Our target is to increase women in senior roles to 40% by 2030 so that our capable female leaders, mentors and managers can continue to have a widespread and meaningful impact on our culture.
We have witnessed the digitalisation of the world. And there’s more to come.
Changing consumption habits have fundamentally changed the volume and nature of demand from our customers – which Goodman was, and still is, ready for. As a business that is always looking to the future, we have been strengthening our expertise and operational platform, while maintaining our strong balance sheet over several years to facilitate this transition.
I couldn’t be prouder of the Goodman team’s commitment to deliver high-quality, sustainable assets with integrity, determination and innovation. We’re well prepared for the future.
Group Chief Executive Officer