Johannesburg - Redefine International expects that its earnings for this financial year will be in line with management’s forecasts.

Greg Clarke, the chairman, said on Friday that with its income-focused and diversified portfolio, this was an exciting time for the property company.

It has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and effected its inward listing on the JSE in October last year.

Clarke said sentiment continued to improve significantly across the business, reflecting a stronger investment market and competitive pricing.

The company remained opportunistic to new investment projects but was mindful of the competitive investment environment and recent sharp increase in values. However, the market was presenting opportunities to dispose of assets where asset management plans had been completed and capital could be recycled on an earnings accretive basis.

Clarke added there were also continued signs of improved occupier demand, both in the retail and commercial sectors, although underlying rental growth might still take time to materialise.

“Having completed all the necessary steps to become a UK Reit [real estate investment trust], strengthen the board and improve liquidity, we believe Redefine International and our shareholders are well-positioned to benefit from the potential of its portfolio and the more positive market conditions than have been seen for some time,” he said.

In October last year, it reported a full year distributable income growth of 18 percent to £30.1 million (R536m) in the year to August and a total shareholder return of 58.9 percent for the year.

Clarke said at the time that the economic outlook for the year ahead was increasingly positive, and that the company firmly believed that with an internalised management and industry-benchmarked Reit structure, it was well-positioned to deliver strong returns to shareholders.

Redefine International is focused on property investment in large, well-developed economies. Its portfolio, of more than £1 billion, is geographically diversified across the UK, Europe and Australia, and has exposure to the office, retail, industrial and hotel sectors.

The interim management statement, which covers the period from September 1 last year until January 16, said the operational highlights included improvements in portfolio occupancy to 97.6 percent from 97.3 percent at end-August; the completion of the acquisition of Weston Favell Shopping Centre in Northampton in the UK; the successful restructuring of its UK shopping centre portfolio debt with Aviva Commercial Finance to reduce its loan to value ratio; and the sale of a residential site in Harrow in north-west London.

On the JSE on Friday, Redefine International ended down 1.54 percent at R9.57.