CAPE TOWN – South African-focused real estate investment trust Dipula Income Fund lifted revenue and property income a solid 17 percent and 19 percent, respectively, in the year to August 31 due mainly to a sharp 20 percent reduction in vacancies and the consolidation of acquisitions.
Its portfolio increased to R8.9 billion from R8.6bn due to positive revaluations in a market characterised by many negative revaluations. In addition, the reduction in vacancies compares well with many other local-landlords who are dealing with rising vacancies.
“We have remained disciplined in the execution of our strategy of building a resilient portfolio. Key here is we are operationally sound. Some funds have been going the specialist route, but we always maintained that in the South African context its better to be diversified. We have different properties, in different locations, and they are not over-rented,” chief executive Izak Petersen said in a telephone interview.
Their range of strategies to de-risk the portfolio over the years included leasing, conversions, extensions and redevelopments.
“The result of these strategies is a significant improvement in our occupancy level to 94 percent,” he said. The net property cost-to-income ratio declined by 8 percent to 17 percent, he added.