CAPE TOWN – Attacq, the South African-based real estate investment trust (Reit) lifted its full-year dividend per share by 10.1 percent to 81.5 cents for the year ended June 30, 2019, exceeding the previously communicated guidance after its developments at Waterfall boosted results.

The group said that its distributable earnings per share increased 17.1 percent to R664.1 million. 

The group said its performance was underpinned by developments at Waterfall and its 22.8 percent shareholding in MAS Real Estate.

“By combining living, working and lifestyle spaces, we have achieved a winning formula at Waterfall, the success of which is evident in the 13.1 percent increase in trading densities for the Mall of Africa as well as the exceptional interest from buyers for our first high-rise residential development, Ellipse Waterfall,” chief executive Melt Hamman said. 

“We are pleased with the results and are excited about the future of Waterfall.” 

Seven buildings were completed in Waterfall with a further nine buildings under construction. 

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Attacq’s South African portfolio consists of retail, office and mixed-use, light industrial and hotel properties. 

Distributable earnings from the South African portfolio increased by 9.1 percent to 59c per share. 

The average growth in trading densities in the retail portfolio for the year was 6.8 percent (5.1 percent in the previous period), while the Mall of Africa’s trading density growth was 13.1 percent (10.5 percent previously).

Chief operating officer Jackie van Niekerk said the development of the Waterfall City and Logistics Hub continued to generate interest from people and businesses seeking a central, easily accessible location.

During 2019, developments under construction increased to R929.5m from R527.6m the prior year, including a head office for Deloitte and a four-star Courtyard Hotel.

“The growing trend of corporate consolidation is impacting the property development space and creating captive audiences for retail and residential spaces,” said Van Niekerek.

The group said Ellipse Waterfall, the first luxury high-rise residential development, had sold 80 percent of the 272 apartments.

Complementing the South African portfolio was the contribution to distributable earnings of 26.9c per share generated by the investment in MAS, which has properties in central and eastern Europe.  

MAS achieved a 59.6 percent increase in net rental income to €51.6m (R840.43m) and 41.9 percent increase in distributable earnings per share from €6.35 to €9.01, driven by acquisitions of investment property and its real estate equity securities portfolio.

AttAfrica disposed of its interest in Achimota Retail Centre in Ghana, reducing the value of Attacq’s Rest of Africa retail investments as a percentage of total assets to 3 percent. Following the Manda Hill Shopping Centre disposal post year-end, this was reduced to below 2 percent, excluding cash held by an Attacq subsidiary.  

Attacq hopes to deliver distribution per share growth of between 8 and 10 percent for the 2020 financial year. Operating conditions were expected to remain challenging.

Attacq shares rose 0.61 percent on the JSE on Tuesday to close at R11.50.

BUSINESS REPORT