Interim dividend grows 12.2%
LISTED Investec Property Fund has reported a 12.2 percent growth in distributions a share to 68.37 cents for the six months to September, from 60.91c in the prior period. The interim dividend included a one-off antecedent dividend received from the Investec Australia Property Fund (IAPF) related to the final second-half dividend for its 2017 financial year that was received on shares subscribed for in IAPF’s rights offer in February. On a normalised basis, core year-on-year dividend a share growth was 7.2 percent. Revenue, excluding straight-line rental revenue adjustment, grew 9 percent to R888.5 million from R814.8m. Vacancies were at 2.6 percent of the portfolio, but reduced to 1.6 percent post the period end after the leasing of a 13 400m² warehouse in Silverton in Pretoria. Nick Riley, fund chief executive, said management had internally focused on securing the sustainability of revenue through proactive letting activity and early engagement with clients. Riley said this resulted in the leasing of 66 percent of space expiring during the full year at a positive reversion of 2.4 percent, which significantly derisked the fund’s revenue line despite a challenging letting environment. Income from the fund’s offshore portfolio now represents 6.7 percent of total investment income and 7.8 percent of balance sheet investments. Riley said the fund aimed to increase its offshore exposure from 7.8 percent to 20 percent in the medium to long term. The fund has maintained its full-year guidance and expects core dividend growth of 7 to 8 percent for the year to March.