Vukile Property Fund, a JSE listed retail property entity, continues to thrive on what it calls a ‘defensive portfolio’ that features a considerable exposure to South Africa’s rural retail markets.
The defensive nature of the portfolio became clear is made clear in the financial results for the year ended March. Small regional and community centres delivered 3.6% trading growth and the rural retail portfolio achieved 7% growth, both well ahead of national benchmarks.
Vukile operates a domestic retail portfolio of 46 properties valued at R13.2bn but its overall asset base is R23.3 billion which includes overseas exposures.
The South African retail property portfolio features names like East Rand Mall, Daveyton Shopping Centre, Moruleng Mall, Thohoyandou Thavhani Mall, Phuthaditjhaba Maluti Crescent, Bloemfontein Plaza, Atlantis City Shopping Center, Gugulethu Square, Queenstown Nonesi Mall, Oshakati Shopping Centre, Pine Crest, Oshakati Shopping Centre in Namibia, Daveyton Shopping Centre and Ranburg Square.
Laurence Rapp, CEO of Vukile Property Fund, said “We are thrilled to have achieved this in a difficult operating environment. While we are buoyed by the improving political and economic climate in South Africa, and the resultant uptick in consumer confidence, we are yet to see a tangible improvement in the trading environment. Moreover, we believe this is unlikely to come about in the next 12 months.”
Vukile’s total asset base was valued at R23.3bn. This comprised R17.3bn (74%) in Southern Africa, R4.8bn in Spain (21%), and R1,2bn in the UK (5%). Its directly held domestic market portfolio is valued at R14.5bn, with 91% retail real estate assets that achieved like-for-like net income growth of 6.5% and positive reversions of 5.1%.
It produced gross property revenue rose of R2 billion for the year ended March. Operating profit before finance costs increased to R1.5 billion from R1.2 billion.
Rapp said “We are pleased to report another set of positive results having delivered on our promises while progressing our strategic objectives. Vukile provides investors with clarity of vision, strategy, and structure, and we are well positioned with a firm focus on our South African retail portfolio and Spanish investment strategy. Vukile expects to deliver dividend growth of between 7.5% and 8.5% next year.”