Paul Leaf-Wright, CEO of Atlantic Leaf
Atlantic Leaf Properties, a Mauritian-incorporated real estate company, today released their results for the financial year ended 28 February 2015, being the company’s first full 12 months of operation.
Commenting on the results, Paul Leaf-Wright, CEO of Atlantic Leaf said, “We are very pleased to have delivered an adjusted earnings per share of 8.3 pence on a weighted average basis in our first full year of operation, which equates to a yield of 8.1%.”
During the year under review Atlantic Leaf concluded the acquisition of 30% of the Booker portfolio. This portfolio comprises 30 commercial properties in the United Kingdom with an aggregate value of approximately £85 million (approximately R1.5 billion). This portfolio has performed in line with expectation and contributed £1.4 million to the net income for the year. Shortly after the year-end date, the company also acquired three industrial/retail warehouses totalling £23 million (approximately R410 million), bringing the effective total direct property assets held by Atlantic Leaf to in excess of £50 million (approximately R900 million). The latest three properties were acquired at a forward income yield of 7.3%, and after gearing costs is expected to deliver a return on equity in excess of 9%.
“Our strategy is to directly invest in income yielding properties with long term leases in place and we are particularly pleased that we were able to conclude two such transactions in our first year of operation. We also have a strong pipeline of opportunities under evaluation which should see us add significantly to the property portfolio over the next 12 months,” Leaf-Wright added.
Atlantic Leaf listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in March 2014 and on the Alt-X of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange a month later. Since listing, the company has raised an aggregate of £35 million (approximately R630 million) and looks set to raise further capital in the coming year to fund its growth plans. Expanding on this, Leaf-Wright said, “Our objective is to grow the company’s asset base and thereby diversify the risk profile of the portfolio, whilst continuing to deliver an attractive income yield to our shareholders. We believe the platform has been laid for us to deliver on the strategy for the next 12 months.”
As the company is in its early stage of development, the Board has decided not to declare a dividend for the year end but has indicated a clear intention to commence a dividend distribution program in the 2015/16 financial year.