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The Birmingham office of Colliers International has completed a two-year project advising the Maltese Government on its industrial property holdings.

The property consultancy was asked to devise a management strategy for the 30,000,000 sq ft portfolio in 2009, examining all aspects of the portfolio, management structures, procedures and policies.

The portfolio comprises 14 separate industrial estates located across Malta and Gozo, including starter unit estates, a technology park, a crafts village and major manufacturing estates, with some individual estates covering more than one million sq metres and more than 4,000 employees on site. Ocupiers  include a call centre for HSBC and a 40,000 sq m Playmobil manufacturing facility.

Martyn Edwards, who heads Colliers International’s investment property management team in Birmingham, visited the Mediterranean country six times in order to assess the portfolio.

He and his team benchmarked rents; overhauled rent collection and service charge strategies; dissected leases; scrutinised tenant compliance and advised on internal communication systems/management structures. They also studied maintenance and estate management programmes for each of the properties with a view to adopting and implementing best practice procedures.

The team’s recommendations, contained in a 400-page report, have been formally adopted by Malta Industrial Parks Ltd (MIPL), which holds the portfolio on behalf of the government, and are currently being implemented.

Mr Edwards said: “This two year brief was an exercise in industrial property management forensics, focusing in on improving management efficiencies and environments for occupiers, improved paractices, procedures and systems, which, once implemented, will result in better portfolio performance.

“With manufacturing accounting for 17 per cent of Malta’s GDP and with its industrial portfolio being a major income generator for the nation, it is vital that the industrial property assets perform well and are leveraged for maximum income generation.”

MIPL is managed by Malta Enterprise, the Government corporation responsible for the promotion of foreign investment and trade, economic and industrial development.

Alan Camilleri, executive chairman of Malta Enterprise, said “Malta’s economic, political and social stability and its fiscal and financial advantages are among the factors which ensured it remained attractive for investors even during what are arguably the most challenging of times.

“Yet, we also need top notch facilities to accommodate their operations, and the study that has just been carried out is crucial for us to maintain the high standard of our industrial properties and identify possible improvements in order to use our resources in the best possible manner whilst at the same time ensuring Malta remains competitive when compared with other markets.”