Real estate investment trust Dipula Income Fund on Monday reported double-digit growth in distributable earnings to R504.2 million. Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Real estate investment trust Dipula Income Fund on Monday reported double-digit growth in distributable earnings to R504.2 million.

Chief executive Izak Petersen said despite real estate being highly susceptible to the current depressed macro-economic cycle and listed property having taken a precipitous selling hit in 2018, Dipula managed to record solid operational performance thanks to good strategic acquisitions and managing its assets well. 

“We increased the value of our portfolio, the quality, average size per property, cut vacancies and successfully executed our tactical defensive rebalancing strategies and objectives to position our business for headwinds," Petersen said.

"Furthermore we kept costs in check with our net cost to income ratio being marginally down on the prior year’s 21.6 percent to 21.4 percent."

Dipula’s property portfolio has increased to 203 properties from 174 last year.

Despite the generally weak retail sector in South Africa, retail within Dipula’s portfolio remained a good performer with growth in turnover of three percent year-on-year, which Petersen attributed to “intense asset management efforts, Dipula’s focus on smaller retail centres and the defensive nature of its portfolio given the tenant mix in its assets.” 

While real improvement in the local economy was expected to materialise only after national elections in 2019, the company would continue to execute on its pipeline of projects and position our business for long term sustainability, he said.

"Thanks to the various initiatives undertaken in the past seven years since listing, we have laid a solid foundation to position Dipula to grow its assets and produce income growth for shareholders from the year 2020 and beyond," Petersen said.

Dipula was confident of delivering seven percent growth in dividends per share for the year ending August 2020, he added.

- African News Agency (ANA)