Property income fund Ascension Properties Limited this week celebrated its first birthday as a JSE-listed property fund. The fund has shown phenomenal growth since listing and has delivered on all its objectives set twelve months ago.
Since listing on 11 June 2012, Ascension’s property assets have increased by R1,5 billion to R2,3 billion. This is expected to grow to over R3,3 billion once recent acquisitions have been transferred. The quality of the portfolio has improved with the average value per building increasing to R122 million whilst vacancies have remained constant at around 8%. Since listing, Ascension’s market capitalisation has increased by R1,1 billion to R1,9 billion.
To date the fund has delivered total returns (income distributions and capital growth) of 29% to their A-linked unitholders and 42% to their B-linked unitholders.
“We set a portfolio growth target of R1 billion per annum, and comfortably exceeded this in our first year”, said Shaun Rai, Executive Director and one of Ascension Properties’ founder shareholders. “By sticking to our acquisition strategy of focusing on acquiring predominantly government-tenanted buildings centrally located in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, with market or under-market related rentals at yield accretive prices, we have managed to not only grow the size and quality of our portfolio but also to provide superior returns to our unitholders. At the same time, strong market and unitholders support have allowed us to follow a conservative gearing and interest rate strategy with the majority of our debt at fixed interest rates for three years”.
“We are confident that we will maintain our portfolio growth of at least R1 billion per annum over the next year. Our successful growth to date, together with yield-accretive acquisitions and lower cost of capital, have enabled us to recently provide guidance that we expect our distributions per B-linked unit for the 2014 financial year to improve from 21.29 cents to 22.5 cents per unit, a growth of 20% over the previous year.”
“I would like to thank my fellow directors, the management team, our employees, investors, tenants and other stakeholders for their commitment and support during the past year” said Rai.
For more information, view the website www.ascensionproperties.co.za or please contact Shaun Rai or Jeremy de Villiers (Executive Director of Ascension) on 021 418 3977 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.