Vukile Property Fund returns to pre-Covid-19 trading levels

Laurence Rapp, CEO of Vukile Property Fund.
Laurence Rapp, CEO of Vukile Property Fund.

Vukile Property Fund has published its unaudited, consolidated interim results for the six months ended September 2021, reporting pre-Covid-19 trading levels for its South African portfolio and its resumption of paying cash interim dividends.

The group’s basic earnings per share increased to 88.15 cents following September 2020’s reported loss of 21.52 cents per share with headline earnings per share amounting to 71.31 cents, an increase on 2020’s 27.99 cents per share.

Net asset value per share was R18.06, marginally down from R18.16 as at 31 March 2021.

Its strong balance sheet, with a well-diversified funding balance, highlighted an interest cover ratio of 4.4 times with its loan-to-value ratio well maintained at 42.8%. 97% of the group’s debt expiring in FY22 repaid or extended. Its undrawn facilities increased to R2.7 billion.

Its South African portfolio reported normalised like-for-like net operating income growth of 3.7% with like-for-like trading density growth of 4.3%. Its rental collection rate improved to 99% with strong letting activity recorded, retail vacancies contained at 3.2% and

Vukile reported an increase in group property revenue from R1.4 billion as at 30 September 2020 to R1.7 billion with profit before finance costs increasing to R1.185 million (September 2020: R731 million).

Its property investments amounted to R32.4 billion as at September 2021 (31st March 2021: R32.6 billion) in South Africa, Namibia, and Spain with total indirect property holdings (listed property investments comprising of investments in Fairvest Property Holdings and Arrowhead Properties Limited) having increased to R1 billion as at 30 September 2021 (31st March 2021: R0.8 billion) due to increases in share prices.

The REIT declared a cash dividend of 40.56 per share for the reporting period.