Picture: Nicholas Rama
Durban - JSE-listed real estate investment trust Rebosis Property Fund has said that the acquisition of two malls for R5 billion during the six months to end February would allow the group to play a major role in the retail malls space in the country.

Rebosis acquired Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth and Forest Hill in Pretoria and also internalised its asset and property management entities.

The group said the acquisitions had allowed it to report net property income growth of 74.6 percent during the period.

Chief executive Sisa Ngebulana said: “To have achieved a 38 percent increase (74.6 percent including new mall acquisitions) in net property income while reducing our overall vacancies to 2.4 percent bears testament to our dominant retail strength in the portfolio, which we believe will continue to perform well in a sluggish economic environment.”

Ngebulana said the group managed to hedge 100 percent of its debt and extended debt maturity profiles in order to mitigate potential risks that arise as a result of a market downgrade and low economic growth.

The group also announced that it had concluded the acquisition of Ascension Properties, which led to the listing of the Rebosis A-shares at a market capitalisation of R1.6 billion, thus giving Rebosis a combined market capitalisation value of R9.8 billion.

The Rebosis A-shares were listed on the JSE on April 19.

The completion of this acquisition consolidates Ascension Properties under Rebosis’ direct properties and has bolstered the Rebosis asset portfolio by a further R17.9 billion to R21.3 billion.

Read also: Rebosis keeps growing its portfolio

The combined South African properties now constitute 8 retail shopping malls, 42 office buildings and 2 industrial properties.

The group reported a 32.7 percent increase in total distributable income increased to R389 million during the period, up from R293 million recorded during the corresponding period last year.

It said assets under management increased by 51 percent to R17.9 billion as a result of acquisitions made during the period.

The board declared a dividend of 60.08 cents a share, up by 7.07 percent.

Rebosis shares rose 2.07 percent on the JSE to close at R12.30.