Times of Eswatini
SBC LTD investors to share E30m
MBABANE – SBC Limited investors have E30 million to share next week Tuesday.
SBC Limited declared an interim dividend of E30 000 000 comprising 31 cents per share, to ordinary shareholders who were registered in the company’s share register at the close of business on February 13, 2023.
Payment of dividends is expected to be no later than February 23, 2023. Normal and withholding tax will be deducted from dividends paid to local shareholders and non- resident shareholders respectively, where applicable.
The first of many advantages of investing in real estate is the power of equity. When you own a house or piece of property, it naturally appreciates, or increases in value.
SBC Limited Group investment in Malkerns Square project, a local housing and retail development, augments the business offering by providing residential rental and retail opportunities to prospective tenants.
The group recorded a profit of E12.6 million in their property portfolio in the current reporting period. This was outlined in group results for the six months period ended June 30, 2022, released this week.
Total property assets amounted to E1.66 billion in the current reporting period, signalling an increase of over E40 million from the previous reporting period, where the group recorded E1.61 billion in property assets.
SBC Chairperson Thuli Dladla said the residential offering consists of 147 units achieved an occupancy rate of approximately 70 per cent as at June 30,2022 resulting in a 16 percent increase in occupancy since the last reporting period December 31,2021.
Despite the restricted and challenging trading conditions, the consumer lending business posted a 32.3 per cent increase in profits after tax. Dladla said the late completion of the retail centre and phase two of the residential property development, coupled with lower than anticipated initial residential occupancy, slightly eroded the profit after tax, further affected by higher operational costs in the property development portfolio.
Despite this, the SBC Group still managed a substantial profit after tax of E29.4m in 2022 from E18.6 million in 2021. She said housing remains a key focus area for the group, and they have seen a substantial improvement since quarter three of 2021 in new rentals which have continued during the first half of 2022.
“Management is confident that this i ncreased demand i s expected t o continue and is targeting to reach the 85 per cent occupancy level during the fourth quarter of 2022.”
“The retail centre is 100 per cent occupied with significant long- term leases in place with Pick n Pay, Pick n Pay Liquor, West Pack Express and KFC which had performed in line with expectations,” she said.
Dladla also mentioned that the group was impacted by a challenging environment in the jurisdictions they operate in. She said while the first quarter of 2022 was reflective of minimum COVID- 19 restrictions and a relatively calm socio- economic environment in Eswatini compared to the 2021 period, Eswatini and Lesotho both being small landlocked countries, have their economies vulnerable to international and regional developments.
“Already, poverty, unemployment, inequality, and HIV prevalence levels have historically been high with progress toward reducing poverty being slow.”
“The recovery is most certain underway, although it is uncertain how long it will take for consumer spending and credit markets to return to pre COVID- 19 normalised levels,” she added.
The chairperson also mentioned that the group’s continuous focus o n a c h i e v i n g s t r o n g c a p i t a l a n d l i qui di t y posi t i ons, c ont i nues t o assist the growth in both countries, notwithstanding periodic constraints enforced by t heir ‘ prudence first’ approach to managing liquidity.