Redefine property company offices in Rosebank Johannesburg. Photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Marc Wainer, founder and former executive chairperson of South Africa's second biggest listed property group Redefine Properties, has become a non-executive director of smaller real estate investment trust Newpark.

Wainer has more than 40 years’ experience in all aspects of real estate and until recently his primary focus was on acquisitions and disposals, international investments and investor relations, as well as playing a role in conceptual development at Redefine.

“Wainer brings incredible depth of experience and industry knowledge to Newpark. The board… looks forward to his contribution to Newpark,” Newpark said. 

Wainer was appointed on Tuesday.

Newpark, which owns the JSE Building among its four properties, said yesterday that its dividend for the six months to end August fell 2.5 percent to 24.32 cents per share from 24.95c at the same time last year.

Headline earnings per share tumbled 55 percent to 18.48c from 41.10c, while gross revenue eased 8.9 percent to R61.02 million from R66.97m.

Newpark said the results are in line with expectations.

Vacancies in the latter part of the six months reduced to 11.9 percent from 15.7 percent by the end of the 2019 financial year, with rent income starting only during the second half of the 2020 financial year.

Newpark also owns 24 Central, an adjoining mixed-use property to the JSE Building in Sandton, Linbro Business Park and another property is in Crown Mines. The valuation of the properties as at February 28 was R1.41 billion.

Newpark said they were on track to deliver 6 to 8 percent growth in distributable income per share for the 2020 financial year, as indicated in the full year results for the 12 months ended February 28, 2019, based on the budgeted vacancy profile at 24 Central and the assumption that no further adverse changes to the macro-economic environment would prevail, and no material tenant default would occur.

“The board remains mindful of the current pressures experienced by tenants in the mixed-use building (24 Central), manifesting in higher than desired vacancies in the short-term,” Newpark said. The focus on filling vacancies in 24 Central had started to yield results with vacancies reducing by 5.1 percent and rental income was expected to increase in the second half at market related rates.

Newpark shares closed unchanged on the JSE on Tuesday at R5.

BUSINESS REPORT