File picture: James White

JOHANNESBURG - Tower Property Fund said on Tuesday it had increased its total distribution to shareholders by five percent to R275 million in volatile trading conditions in the financial year to May 2018.

The Cape Town-based company owns a diversified portfolio of 46 properties in South Africa and Croatia valued at R4.9 billion.

It said non-core properties totaling R151 million were sold during the year which contributed to Tower’s revenue declining by seven percent to R416 million for the year. A further nine non-core properties were being actively marketed and expected to be sold during the 2019 financial year.

The fund had not been immune to South Africa’s severe economic pressures over the past year, chief executive Marc Edwards said.

"Vacancies in the portfolio reached a high of 12 percent in January 2018 but reduced to five percent by year end with excellent tenancies secured late in the year," he said.

"We have had to offer lower than anticipated rentals and longer periods of beneficial occupation, particularly in Gauteng, which is a clear sign of the times.”

- African News Agency (ANA)