Rebosis Property Fund, the black economic empowerment (BEE) pioneer on the JSE real estate sector, reported its financials for the six months ended February showing almost R1bn growth in the value of its assets when compared to last year’s proforma interim figures.
Rebosis investment property value was quoted at R3.7bn compared to the proforma R2.7bn in February last year. Headline earning per linked unit came in at 46.09c while distribution was quoted at 43c reflecting about 12% improvement.
Rebosis is the first black-managed and substantially black-held property fund to have listed on the JSE on 17 May 2011. CEO Sisa Ngebulana said “With less than a year since listing, we have entrenched ourselves solidly in our chosen areas of operation, and remain well positioned for future growth”.
Rebosis has brought to the JSE a property portfolio consisting of 60% retail property by value and 40% office buildings. The retail portfolio comprises three shopping centers, a regional shopping centre, Hemingways Mall in Port Elizabeth, Mdantsane City in Buffalo City (Port Elizabeth) and Bloed Street Mall in Pretoria.
Ngebulana said “The retail properties continue to perform ahead of the industry and vacancies are trending down”.
“We are continuously improving our tenant mix across the retail portfolio” commented Ngebulana.
“Hemingways Mall in East London attracted some exciting new brands with Busby’s, Guess, Guess Kids, Forever New, Frasers and Aldo among the fashion brands that recently signed lease contracts. Our active management initiatives at the centres have resulted in enhanced catering and leisure options with the family entertainment centre Electric Avenue opening in April and Spur expected to open mid-year. We also expect Beares to open soon to further compliment the offering.
“Mdantsane City introduced a new gym and refurbished the Fruit & Veg City with a new Checkers Liquor replacing the previous liquor outlet.”
He said occupancy across the portfolio was well above the sector average with a vacancy rate at 29th February of 4,1%.
Rebosis net borrowings stood at R1,4bn at the end of the six months period under review. This gave the group a gearing ratio of 37,9% which it said allowed for further growth as gearing target range was 40 – 45%.
Rebosis pointed out that it concluded acquisition of four properties being 28 Harrison Street, SASSA Campus, The Revenue Building and 270 Jabu Ndlovu Street with a combined valuation of R543 million. “These acquisitions with a combined gross lettable area of 50 698 m2 are expected to be yield enhancing from the date of transfer on 1 July 2012”.
“In addition to pursuing yield enhancing acquisition opportunities, we have the right of first refusal on Billion Group’s R7 billion development pipeline with an additional 370 000 m2 gross lettable area,” said Ngebulana.
“We are very pleased with these solid results. The inclusion of Bloed Street Mall in the reporting period and encouraging retail turnover growth of 16% has created positive momentum. The acquisition of 4 commercial properties currently underway is the first step forward in our objective to scale up our asset base to the benefit of our investors.”
Rebosis also announced new appointments to its board and said these come to bolster its corporate governance structures. N. Qangule and T. Seopa were appointed as independent non-executive directors to the board and as members of the audit and risk and investment committee.