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Vukile says results reflect diversification benefits

Nov 29 2018 17:11

Vukile Property Fund on Thursday reported 7.5% growth in dividends to 78.1 cents per share for its half-year to 30 September 2018.

Vukile's half-year results extend its track record of unbroken growth in dividends for investors into its fifteenth year. The JSE-listed REIT's distributable income was up 23.3% from the prior half year to R713.5m and its net asset value increased to 2027 cents per share.

It said in a statement that the results reflect the diversification benefits from significant growth in its Spanish investments and the "solid operational performance driving its core SA retail property portfolio in a difficult domestic operating environment with no immediate signs of improvement".

It said Vukile's performance is also "underpinned by a robust balance sheet and clarity and consistency of strategy, structure and execution".

Vukile now holds 50% of its total R32.3bn property assets offshore - 46% in Spain through Castellana Properties; 4% in the UK through Atlantic Leaf - and 50% in Southern Africa.

Vukile's directly held domestic portfolio is valued at R14.5bn, with 91% retail assets.

Vukile is continuing its R200m upgrade of Pinecrest Shopping Centre in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. The centre will be relaunched and rebranded in May 2019. Vukile is also redeveloping Maluti Crescent in Phuthaditjhaba.

"Relative to SA, the Spanish outlook is more upbeat and offers distinct benefits to Vukile's investors. Spain is the fifth largest economy in Europe by GDP and the third largest tourist destination in the world. Spanish GDP growth remains ahead of Western Europe's, its employment rate continues to rise, and its e-commerce remains flat at 5% of total retail sales," the company said in a statement.  

It said its growing track record of delivering deals in Spain has resulted in an excellent pipeline of acquisition opportunities, which are currently being evaluated.

CEO Laurence Rapp said Vukile's strategic focus remains firmly on SA and Spain.

"With no respite in sight for the tough economy locally, we are well positioned to weather the storm and are concentrating on internal operational excellence in SA," Rapp said in the statement.

"The solid base of our Spanish investment will be a strong driver of Vukile's growth overall with its good deal flow and value-adding asset management opportunities. The latest Spanish acquisitions have only contributed to our income base for two months of the current financial period, and further benefits are expected to flow through in the second half of the year."

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vukile property fund  |  reit  |  property  |  reits

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