Rebosis Property Fund today announced pleasing financial results for the year ended 31 August supported by strong fundamentals and prudent management.
The total distribution for the year to 31 August 2013 was in line with forecasts and grew to 92,0 cents per linked unit, up 7.6% on the prior year’s distribution of 85,5 cents per linked unit. This distribution growth was mainly as a result of the contribution from escalated rentals, gearing effect and operating cost efficiencies. This was despite the dilutive acquisition of a quality retail asset and the cash drag of the rights issue.
Revenue increased by 26.2% to R522,8 million, with a principal contribution of 54% from the retail portfolio.
Commenting on the results, Sisa Ngebulana, CEO of Rebosis, said: “The past year saw us continue to evolve and differentiate ourselves within the sector as a specialist high-growth property fund. I am pleased to report that we delivered well against all our key performance measures.”
During the reporting period, Rebosis concluded acquisitions totaling 114 978 m2 in GLA for a purchase consideration of R1,76 billion at a yield of 8,8%, resulting in a yield uplift for the portfolio as a whole.
Sunnypark Mall, a well-established dominant retail centre situated in the eastern side of the Pretoria CBD was acquired effective 01 June 2013 for a purchase consideration of R587,5 million settled in cash. In addition, the acquisition of the Antalis property in March for R120 million introduced the first industrial warehouse to Rebosis’ portfolio. Rebosis also concluded agreements for the acquisition of the Nthwese portfolio for R1,06 billion, comprising four recently refurbished and government tenanted properties in Johannesburg and one in Pretoria.
Ngebulana continued: “We acquired quality assets worth R1,76 billion during the period, which will see the portfolio increase from R4,6 billion to around R6,4 billion, entrenching our position as a mid-cap in the sector.
“The acquisitions of the Sunnypark Shopping Centre, as well as the Nthwese office portfolio have also served to drastically reduce the historical geographic exposure of our portfolio to the Eastern Cape.”
The portfolio consists of 14 quality properties valued at R5,28 billion with a total gross lettable area (GLA) of 346 532m2, including Hemingways Mall, the largest retail centre situated in East London. By value, the portfolio comprises 54% retail, 44% office and 2% industrial. These assets are located in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West Province which helps minimising regional concentration risk.
During the year, Rebosis successfully raised R1,125 billion through a R650 million oversubscribed rights offer in February and a further R475 million by way of an accelerated one day book build in August 2013. Market capitalisation grew by 40.9% from R3,014 billion to R4,25 billion at year end. The Fund decreased gearing levels from 37.1% to 25.3% as a result of the successful rights offer and accelerated book build completed during the year. Net borrowings equated to R1,336 billion at an average cost of 8.4% of which 77.6% have been hedged.
“Despite a correction in the sector towards the end of the reporting period, support from our institutional linked unitholders remained strong and enabled us to successfully conclude R1,125 billion of capital raising initiatives to support our growth mandate.
“Gearing is now at a comfortable level which provides us with enough headroom to move quickly on good quality transactions. The increased market capitilisation also positions the Fund well to access debt capital markets,” commented Ngebulana.
Rebosis started trading as REIT on the JSE on 01 September 2013. Its primary objective is to grow its portfolio and distributions by investing in high-quality retail and commercial properties yielding secure capital and income returns for unitholders.
“We have started the year on a good footing marked by an environment where demand remains strong. We will now focus on our planned expansion and tenant mix optimisations at Hemingways and Bloed Street Malls during 2014 to reposition these centres as ultimate destinations geared for future exceptional growth.”
Taking into account the expected short term dilution from the planned expansion and tenant mix optimisations of the retail centres, the Fund’s target distribution range for the year ending 31 August 2014 will be between 97 cents and 99 cents per linked unit.