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CAPE TOWN - Echo Polska Properties yesterday said the current high levels of retail sales growth in Poland, which were recorded at 8.2% year-on-year in the first six months of 2017, provided the company with more growth prospects. The company said it had trained its sight on targeting Poland’s investment opportunity.

Chief executive Hadley Dean said the plan was part of Echo Polska aggressive expansion strategy that it wanted to drive until 2022 with at least three purchases a year in Poland’s underserved cities.

Dean said the focus would be on office parks and shopping centres.

He reported that Echo Polska had concluded an agreement to acquire Galeria Solna, a retail asset in InoWroclaw, north west Poland in July for a purchase consideration of 22.4 million (R345m), based on asset value of 55.4m.

He said the purchase was, however, not been entered in the six months to end June results as it was acquired outside the reporting period.

In April the group managed to raise about R2.2 billion in an accelerated book build through the placement of 118918918 new shares at R18.50 a share, partly to fund acquisitions.

The group said it had successfully executed acquisitions worth 262m during the first half of 2017. It said it was also on track to deliver .108 distribution per share for 2017.

Net profit for the period came in at 39.56m, down by 36.07% as compared to 61.88m reported last year while distributable income amounted to 36.60m. Basic earnings per share of 062, a decline of 80.56% as compared to .319, while headline earnings per share decreased by 84.8% to 038, down from 0.25 as compared to last year.

The board declared an interim dividend of 05192 per ordinary share.

High quality

Echo Polska is a real estate company that owns a portfolio of 13 retail and nine office assets located throughout Poland and two retail developments in Warsaw.

The properties are high quality, modern assets with solid property fundamentals.

The majority of the buildings are less than five years old.

The investment portfolio has a diversified tenant base of leading retailers with international brands in the case of retail properties, and a tenant base of primarily blue chip companies in the case of office properties.

“We also own 70% stakes in two development projects in Warsaw. Added to this is our 25% development profit participation in and the right of first offer from Echo Investment to purchase three properties known as Rofo projects,” Dean said.

“The Rofo projects are at various stages of construction and are set to be completed between 2016 and 2018.”

-BUSINESS REPORTS

Echo Polska shares rose 0.67percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R21.02.