JOHANNESBURG – Sirius Real Estate, the JSE-listed German operator of branded business parks providing conventional space and flexible workspace, completed the disposal of all non-core assets for total proceeds of €19.3 million (R307.4m) in the six months to September, giving it cash for acquisitions.

The group said it had made good progress on investing funds from a March 18 equity raise. It had acquired two assets in the period for €29.8m, followed shortly after the period end by another acquisition for €9.6m and notarisation of an asset for €25.7m.

It said that it had significant resources to acquire further assets in the second half of the financial year to drive shareholder value.

Sirius’s profit before tax in the period grew 43 percent year-on-year to €78.2m, compared with €54.7m at the same time last year, while funds from operations grew by 25.9 percent to €23.3m compared with €18.5m in the previous period.

It increased the interim dividend 4.5 percent to 1.63 cents per share, higher than the 1.56c of 2017. Chief executive Andrew Coombs said in the first half of the year the group achieved a significant milestone, exceeding the €1 billion mark for assets owned. 

Sirius realised a 43 percent year-on-year increase in profit before tax underpinned by a €69.3m valuation uplift, new lettings of more than 83 000m² and €6.6m of annualised rent roll signed in the period and is able to report a 2.6 percent like-for-like rental growth despite the impact from three expected large move-outs. 

In October, Sirius said the half-year had been another good trading period, underpinned by strong occupier demand for conventional and flexible space and positive letting activity, which together had resulted in an encouraging increase in organic rental growth despite some large expected move outs at the start of the year.