Country Garden Rises on 2021 FORTUNE Global 500 List

In 2020, CG achieved US$67.08 billion in revenue and US$5.075 billion in profit

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The latest FORTUNE Global 500 list was released on 2nd August with the number of Chinese companies in the list increased to 143, demonstrating the strong vitality of China’s economy. Among them, China’s leading real estate developer Country Garden Holdings (Country Garden) (02007.HK) continued to witness a rise in its ranking, to 139th place.

The FORTUNE list reveals that in 2020, Country Garden achieved US$67.08 billion in revenue and US$5.075 billion in profit, ranking 139th globally, advancing 328 places from 467th in 2017 when the company debuted on the list.

Since its debut on the FORTUNE Global 500 list in 2017, Country Garden has climbed in the rankings for five consecutive years, becoming the list’s fastest-rising company in 2019 and the highest-ranked real estate firm in 2020. In 2021, Country Garden’s ranking has reached a new high, providing distinctive proof of the rise of China’s privately-held firms on the world stage alongside Tencent and Huawei.

Over the past five years, in concert with China’s economic development and continued urbanization, Country Garden has maintained robust, high-quality growth while retaining its role as the industry leader. For the year ended 31st December 2020, the Group together with its joint ventures and associates achieved contracted sales attributable to the shareholders of the Company of approximately 570.66 billion yuan (approx. US$88.4 billion) with contracted sales GFA attributable to the shareholders of the Company of approximately 67.33 million sq.m., representing a year-on-year increase of 3.3% and 8.0% respectively. Sales performance continued on an upward track, reaching a new high.

Country Garden’s continuous and steady growth has, over the years, become an emblematic feature of the company.

From 2016 to 2020, Country Garden witnessed a compound growth rate of 25% in its contracted sales attributable to shareholders, while all other core earnings indicators have also grown substantially. During the five years, revenue increased from 153.09 billion yuan (approx. US$23.7 billion) to 462.9 billion yuan (approx. US$71.7 billion), up 202.4%. Net profit rose 296% from 13.66 billion yuan (approx. US$2.1 billion) to 54.1 billion yuan (approx. US$8.4 billion). Net profit attributable to shareholders increased from 11.516 billion yuan (approx. US$1.8 billion) to 36.02 billion yuan (approx. US$5.6 billion), up 212.8%.

The leverage ratio is one of the lowest in the industry. The rapid expansion of Country Garden’s operations in combination with judicious debt control is the secret to the company’s continuous and steady growth.

Country Garden’s financial report shows that as of 31st December 2020, the Group’s total debt had decreased by 11.7% to approximately 326.5 billion yuan (approx. US$50.5 billion) comparing with 369.6 billion yuan (approx. US$57.2 billion) as of 31st December 2019. The weighted average borrowing cost of the Group’s total debt decreased by 78 basis points to 5.56% comparing with that as of 31 December 2019. In addition, the net gearing ratio stood at 55.6%, a number that has been maintained at below 70% for many years.

“Country Garden is pursuing high-quality, stable and healthy development,” said Mo Bin, CEO of Country Garden Holdings. Against the backdrop of gradually tightening control policies in China’s real estate sector, Mo made a point of saying that China’s real estate market will become increasingly healthy as the general effort to rein in speculation remains unchanged. As China’s urbanisation drive continues to advance, the external environment is most favourable for Country Garden.

Three years ago, Country Garden adopted a corporate philosophy which, when summarised into a Chinese saying means “Walking steadily and going far”, to coordinate all aspects of corporate planning. “Safety and quality are the priority, while the progress of all projects is planned scientifically,” Mo emphasised. “Each regional director remains focused on the region in which their projects are located and the projects themselves, so as to truly achieve the goal of Reputation-First and Long-Termism.”

The implementation of a series of corporate governance and reform measures around the “Walking steadily and going far” philosophy has led to the optimisation of Country Garden’s management performance and the formation of a strong competitive advantage across China’s third- and fourth-tier markets. Diversified land acquisition channels and a high percentage of independently-formed sales teams have ensured the Company’s future profitability and sustainable business performance.

Country Garden has been positively reviewed by credit rating agencies for its sound operating performance and prudent financial management. In 2020, Moody’s raised Country Garden’s ratings as an issuer and on its senior unsecured bonds to investment-grade Baa3 while S&P Global Ratings upgraded the outlook of the Company’s long-term issuer credit rating from “stable” to “positive”, despite the increased market uncertainty in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.