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Atenor spreading its wings

Stéphan Sonneville flanked by CFO Sidney Bens and marketing head Maral Reghabi
Stéphan Sonneville flanked by CFO Sidney Bens and marketing head Maral Reghabi

Atenor CEO Stéphan Sonneville gave an update on the company’s results, ambitions and on-going projects yesterday. In his usual relaxed and straightforward style, he explained that the most significant piece of news at the moment is the increasing internationalisation of activities. The company’s speciality as an urban player is thus being extended to becoming an international urban player.

Along with this is the trend towards digitalisation and co-working, with the result that following a co-working centre in ‘The One’, discussions are underway for City Dox.

Revenues are stable and are being produced by three areas: sales of offices and other buildings in Belgium and Hungary in particular, sale of apartments in Belgium, and rental income.

In terms of the current portfolio, it remains dominated by offices, due partly to Atenor’s traditional home in Brussels (which is not in danger despite the internationalisation), and the fact that when Atenor moves to a new location, it always starts with offices. In numerical terms, 71% of the portfolio of 18 projects (800,000 m²) is in offices, and almost all the rest is in residential. Brussels accounts for 37% of the portfolio, followed by Budapest and Bucharest (17% each), and Wallonia (13%). The remainder is held in greater Paris, Luxembourg and Warsaw. Stéphan Sonneville indicated that other countries – Germany in particular – may come into the company’s sights. However, central Europe remains key to future growth and fits in with the Atenor policy of relatively low risk developments.

In Belgium, the twin projects ‘The One’ and ‘Realex’ represent a major offering in the heart of the European district, and as Stéphan Sonneville pointed out, they are strategically located: “From the 10th floor of The One and above, you can see all the European institutions and you can go to them on foot”. Realex, for its part, is taking part in the call for tenders from the European Commission for a new conference centre.

Moving on to a long-standing saga, Stéphan Sonneville was pleased to say that there appears to be more political will in Brussels nowadays, with the result that the Gare du Midi district, and the Victor project in particular, may finally be about to be on the move.
Tim Harrup

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