In­vestec growth gains mo­men­tum

Business Day - - COMPANIES - Alis­tair An­der­son Prop­erty Writer an­der­sona@busi­

In­vestec Prop­erty Fund (IPF) has re­deemed it­self af­ter some lean years, de­liv­er­ing a strong per­for­mance in the past half-year, hav­ing en­hanced the re­turns at many as­sets across its port­fo­lio.

The group, which grew its core div­i­dend per share 7.2% in the six months to Septem­ber, has bed­ded down var­i­ous ac­qui­si­tions and has been helped by its hold­ing in In­vestec Aus­tralia Prop­erty Fund (IAPF).

IPF had re­leased some dis­ap­point­ing fi­nan­cial re­sults for a few pe­ri­ods, but CEO Nick Ri­ley has started to bring mo­men­tum back to the di­ver­si­fied real es­tate in­vest­ment trust.

The com­pany’s share price is up only 0.97% year to date as many fund man­agers have lost in­ter­est in the stock, but im­proved fi­nan­cial re­sults should swing sen­ti­ment in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion.

“This is a pleas­ing set of re­sults in light of the eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment,” said Ri­ley.

“As man­age­ment, we have been in­ter­nally fo­cused on se­cur­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of rev­enue through proac­tive let­ting ac­tiv­ity and early en­gage­ment with clients,” he said. IPF an­nounced an in­terim div­i­dend of 68.37c per share for the re­port­ing pe­riod, com­pared with 60.91c per share for the cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod a year ago. This rep­re­sents year-on-year growth of 12.2%.

In­cluded in the in­terim div­i­dend was a one-off an­tecedent div­i­dend re­ceived from IAPF. This re­lated to a fi­nal div­i­dend for fi­nan­cial year 2017, which was re­ceived on IAPF shares that IPF sub­scribed for in a Fe­bru­ary rights of­fer.

On a nor­malised ba­sis, the core year-on-year div­i­dend per share growth was 7.2%. It has guided for div­i­dend growth of 7% to 8% for the year to March.

IPF has 119 prop­er­ties in SA val­ued at R17.6bn, along with a R1.3bn in­vest­ment in IAPF and a R200m in­vest­ment in In­vestec Argo UK Prop­erty Fund.

IPF’s re­sults were “not bad” but held no sur­prises for the mar­ket, said Evan Robins, listed prop­erty man­ager for Old Mu­tual In­vest­ment Group’s MacroSo­lu­tions bou­tique.

“They’ve met ex­pec­ta­tions but the mar­ket will wait to see what they can achieve in the next fi­nan­cial year in terms of good ac­qui­si­tions,” he said.

IAPF, mean­while, grew its in­terim div­i­dend 3% for the hal­fyear to Septem­ber.

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