Investec Property Fund grew distributions a share by 8.2 percent to R1.082 in the year to March from 99.99c in the previous year, the listed property fund reported yesterday.

The fund has achieved a 45 percent growth in the value of its assets since its listing on the JSE in April 2011 with the acquisition of properties in South Africa valued at R1.7 billion and an investment in Australian real estate through the acquisition of an 18 percent stake in the Investec Australia Property Fund, which listed on the JSE’s main board in October last year.

Sam Leon, the chief executive, said he was pleased with the fund’s performance as it had continued to deliver good growth in distributions and assets. “This is pleasing as the growth has been delivered through an increase in net property income and supported by quality acquisitions with sustainable income. The fund, at over R6bn in asset value, is 3.6 times bigger than when it listed three years ago.”

He said the results reflected management’s continual focus on tenant retention and strategic lettings with more than 69 167m2 of space let during the year and vacancies kept at 2.6 percent compared with 2.9 percent a year earlier, one of the lowest vacancy rates in the sector.

Leon said the fund had a long weighted average lease expiry profile of 4.3 years with more than 38 percent of leases by value expiring after five years or more.

The fund completed acquisitions of R1.4bn in the year to increase its portfolio by 38 percent to R5.8bn.

Shares rose 0.34 percent to close at R14.55 yesterday. – Roy Cokayne