2022 was a year of recovery as COVID-19 pandemic appeared to be on the wane. All sectors of the economy have adapted well. The office building business was on a rebound. Most companies were recalling employees back to the office as a sense of normalcy prevailed.
S Prime Growth Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (“SPRIME”), 2022 marked a significant development. On 24 June 2022, the REIT made additional investment in the SUNTOWERS Retail Space of the SUNTOWERS Building. The SUNTOWERS Retail Space has performed well with a high occupancy rate. Unitholders may rest assured that SPRIME has invested in real estate that will contribute to good returns for the REIT over the long term.
2021 saw significant developments in many aspects as S REIT Management Company Limited, the REIT Manager, worked with the Property Manager in restructuring and strengthening the tenant group, developing the business and the operating systems to respond to the new normal, and preparing for business opportunities that will return after the end of COVID-19 pandemic.
The REIT Manager and the Property Manager worked together on the tenant restructuring to strengthen these industry groups and companies and help them overcome the COVID-19 challenges and continue to grow. Other works include building improvements with modernized safety, sanitation, hygiene systems, etc., all of which are essential factors that build confidence in the tenants in renewing the lease agreements with SPRIME. The renewal rate in 2021 is as high as 98%. In addition, the REIT provided a space in Suntowers Complex to set up a COVID-19 vaccination center, partly providing early access to vaccination for the tenants' employees and surrounding communities which allowed more tenants’ staff to return to work in the building. Regarding the operating results for the year 2021, SPRIME recorded total revenue of THB 487.92 million, net investment income of THB 277.08 million, and operating profit margin of 56.8% while maintaining a consistent rate of distributions paid to the unitholders at 0.5820 THB/unit. This reflects effective management by the REIT of its investment assets despite the extremely challenging conditions.
In the matter of the future of the office rental business, studies conducted by several world's leading real estate research firms agree that demand for office buildings will remain albeit the hybrid workplace approach of working both in the office and from home. Companies still need space to create culture, innovation, as well as collaborative work for the benefit of the employees and the organizations. For this reason, SPRIME and the Property Manager have developed a co-working space under the name "Worko" to meet customer needs according to the hybrid workplace strategy. In addition, we continue to look for opportunities for additional investments in office buildings with good potential in good locations, including zones with rising demand and limited supply, to ensure that SPRIME will grow and generate higher returns to our unitholders.
Lastly, on behalf of S REIT Management Company Limited, as the REIT Manager, I wish to express my sincere thanks to all unitholders who have entrusted us with their investment in SPRIME. We will continue to strive for maximum benefits in our management of the REIT and the investment assets under the framework of good corporate governance to ensure steady and sustainable growth for our unitholders.