Global Trade Centre on Friday proposed a 0.37 Polish Zloty (about R1.40) dividend after the Poland-based property development company that has a secondary listing on the JSE posted solid performance and strong rental growth in the year to end December 2018. Photo: AP

CAPE TOWN – Global Trade Centre on Friday proposed a 0.37 Polish Zloty (about R1.40) dividend after the Poland-based property development company that has a secondary listing on the JSE posted solid performance and strong rental growth in the year to end December 2018.

The group said net profit for its properties in Poland and five other capitals in eastern and southern Europe fell to €92 million (R1.5 billion) from €156.6m the prior year. It said operating profit increased 47 percent to €65m, while cash and cash equivalents amounted to €80.5m compared to €148.7m the previous year. 

Total bank debt and financial liabilities were €1.112m from €1.031m.

The group said in-place rental income increased by 18 percent to €130m while profit from revaluations eased to €40.13m from €148.56m in 2017 on the back of assets under construction at Ada Mall, White House, Green Heart and Advance Business Centre, as well as Galeria Jurajska.

The gross margin from rental activity was up by 22 percent to €111m.

The group said it had completed the Green Heart office buildings in Belgrade and the GTC White House office building in Budapest during the period. 

It said the Mall of Sofia, which it acquired in June, was already 93 percent let and had increased turnover by 12 percent. Investments to reposition the mall and focused marketing efforts were expected to further increase turnover and open room for increased rent. 

At Galeria Jurajska, which increased footfall even though it had been closed more often on Sundays, an increase in turnover and full occupancy were all expected to result in a further increase in rent this year.

Galeria Polnocna in Warsaw reported a 20 percent increase in turnover for the last three months to end-February 2019, and new openings were expected to further increase the attractiveness of the mall.

The groups’ overall occupancy rate was 94 percent.

Construction started on eight office and retail properties last year, which would be completed in 2019/20, the directors reported. Construction on another seven properties were expected to commence in 2019/20.

As of year end the group portfolio included 42 completed commercial buildings – 38 office buildings and four retail properties, while the eight commercial buildings under construction include seven office buildings and one shopping mall.

The portfolio includes one completed office building held for sale, one commercial building designated for future development and one residential “landbank” designated for sale. The portfolio had a book value of €2.2bn during the period.

The Epra net asset value – net asset value adjusted to included properties and other investment interests at fair value and to exclude items not expected to crystallise in a long-term investment property business – had increased by 6 percent to €2.42 a share by year end. 

Globe Trade closed unchanged on the JSE on Friday at R31.

BUSINESS REPORT