Rebosis was South Africa's first black Reit when it listed on the JSE in 2011 with an initial portfolio of R3.3bn, which has since grown to R16.5bn. Photo: Nicholas Rama/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Rebosis Property Fund, which is in talks to merge with Delta Property Fund, said distributable earnings fell by nearly half to R226 milliion in the year to August 31 due to bad debts written off, tax, increased professional fees and the settlement of currency swops. 

Rebosis was South Africa's first black Reit when it listed on the JSE in 2011 with an initial portfolio of R3.3bn, which has since grown to R16.5bn.

“This reporting period has focused mainly on driving a robust improvement on our operating performance and, hence, quality of our underlying assets from our asset management team,” chief executive Sisa Ngebulana said on Monday.

The company owns large regional malls in Port Elizabeth, East London and in Centurion, as well as regional malls in Pretoria. The commercial portfolio includes 36 buildings, most of which are let to the national government.

Ngebulana said that the retail portfolio continued to perform well, with trading density growth of 5.4percent and an increase in footfall of 2.5 percent, indicating market share gain despite vacancies increasing by 6.5 percent.

No distribution was declared to preserve capital and bolster the balance sheet.

There was a 100 percent success rate of lease renewals on large office expiries of more than 200 000m² gross letting area in the reporting period, a good trading density as well as “robust” footfall growth in the retail assets, said Ngebulana.

Growth on retail assets continue to outperform in all areas due to “bold drives in our marketing and overall management,” he said.

“We have incredibly dominant and scarce retail assets and our office assets are well maintained and the positive renewal cycle bears testimony to well looked after buildings and tenants.”

Rebosis shares closed 3.33 percent higher at R0.31 on the JSE on Monday.

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