Sirius Real Estate lifted its interim dividend 8.6 percent to 01.77 euro cents (R0.29) per share after a “busy” six months where move-outs were dealt with, new leases secured and the company kept its performance flat as planned. Photo; Supplied

CAPE TOWN – Sirius Real Estate lifted its interim dividend 8.6 percent to 01.77 euro cents (R0.29) per share after a “busy” six months where move-outs were dealt with, new leases secured and the company kept its performance flat as planned, chief executive Andrew Coombs said yesterday.

The leading UK-based operator and owner of business parks, offices and industrial complexes in Germany said earnings, excluding fair value adjustments, disposals and other non-core items, had increased by 13.5 percent to 2.44 euro cents per share in the period to September 30.

“The first half was all about defence,” said Coombs. 

Pretax profit of €79.7 million was marginally higher than the €78.2m in the first half of 2018. Funds from operations grew by 16.3 percent to €27.1m.

Net asset value per share increased by 7.3 percent to 76.18c, compared with 71.01c on March 31.

He said the sale of 65 percent of five assets to joint venture partner AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets was completed at a “significant” premium to book value, generating €70m of funds to re-invest.

A €115.4m increase in the Berlin Hyp AG bank facility for four years was finalised at all-in fixed interest rate of 0.9 percent per annum, generating around €90m of funds to re-invest.

Coombs said loan to value remained low at 32 percent when compared with the maximum in terms of company policy of 40 percent. Ideally, they needed to obtain some unsecured debt, to provide flexibility to asset recycling.

Three sites were acquired for €21.9m. Two assets were notarised for acquisition for €64.6m. Three assets were being held in exclusivity for €57.7m.

The mature asset located in Weilimdorf was notarised for disposal for €10.1m due for completion in April 2020.

He said another highlight during the six months was that the company was included in the FTSE 250 Index.

Headline earnings per share decreased by 32.2 percent to 1.45 euro cents per share, from 2.14 euro cents per share in the prior corresponding period.

Coombs said they anticipated improved rental income, due mainly to the fact that a period of anticipated rental voids from properties that were acquired would not re-occur.

He said the company also expected to generate some €10m from the expected €30m that would be spent on upgrading about 150 000m² that had been identified as sub-optimal space, in 26 property assets.

Sirius shares gained 3.47 percent on the JSE on Monday to close at R14.90.

BUSINESS REPORT