Vukile profit increases by 3.32% to 187.25 cents a share for the year to March
CAPE TOWN – Vukile Property Fund’s profit available for distribution increased by 3.32 percent to 187.25 cents per share for the year to March, from 181.48 cents per share the previous year.
This was off the back of a good performance of Castellana in Spain, with dividend growth of 9.6 percent. Vacancies were contained at 1.8 percent in that country and rental collection was at 99 percent.
The Southern African portfolio continued to perform well too, with like-for-like trading density up by 3.4 percent, and by 5.1 percent when considering asset management interventions.
The redeveloped Pine Crest Centre and Maluti Crescent were relaunched.
Retail vacancies were contained at 2.9 percent with 84 percent retail tenant retention and positive reversions of 1.1 percent.
Retail like-for-like net income grew 6 percent.
CEO Laurence Rapp said there was strong cash cover and well diversified sources of funding, and Vukile remained comfortably solvent and liquid. Some 77 percent of the 2021 financial year maturing debt facilities had been successfully re-financed.
He said they expected to be able to reach rental collections at pre-Covid 19 levels by the end of the year.
Total revenue for the year increased to R3.4 billion as at March 31, 2020. from R2.8bn the year before.
The group's direct property investments were valued at R35.7bn at March 31, versus R29.7bn at the same time last year.
The value of listed investments at March 31, 2020 was R2.10bn, versus R2.6bn as at March 31, 2019. These comprise investments in Atlantic Leaf Properties, Fairvest Properties and Arrowhead Properties.
Rapp said that while the Spanish economy would be hard hit in 2020, along with the global economy, current forecasts were for a strong rebound in 2021.
In South Africa, the portfolio remained defensively positioned in the middle to lower-disposable income markets, with a strong township and rural bias, which was trading better than urban centres through the Covod-19 crisis.
“It is very clear the retail landscape will change and while we will continue to experience a rise in online shopping, quality retail centres will have a critical role in any economy as part of an ongoing evolution
to a world of omnichannel retailing,” he said,
Looking to the first half of 2021, Vukile did not anticipate paying an interim dividend, no earning guidance was provided for the full year and a variable dividend payout ratio was being adopted, instead of paying out 100 percent of distributable earnings, in order to preserve cash.