The Star Late Edition
Rebosis displays notable resilience amid lockdowns
REBOSIS Property Fund was shielded by the defensiveness of its public sector office tenants in the six months to February 28, as its operations started recovering from the lockdowns of last year.
Chief executive Dr Sisa Ngebulana said in a presentation yesterday that the group, which has an approximate R13.1 billion portfolio of retail, office and industrial properties, managed to retain 96 percent of its tenants through the period despite the tough environment. He said the office portfolio had no Covid-19 impact.
Trading by most of the group’s shopping centre tenants improved since the lockdowns, with home electronic and photographic stores doing particularly well as people bought home entertainment goods, but entertainment sector tenants, such as movies, games arcades and ice-skating rinks, had not really recovered yet.
Some 26.6 percent of Rebosis’ income is derived from national government tenants, 25.1 percent from provincial government tenants, 35.8 percent from top national retailers, 8.9 percent from other private sector tenants and 2.1 percent from the local government sector.
Ngebulana said rental collections had improved steadily from 73 percent of billings in April last year during hard lockdown, to 110 percent of billings in February 2021, a percentage that included collections of historic billings.
He said the firm would undertake a balance sheet restructuring and strengthening which would aim to bring loan-to-value to below 40 percent and in line with market expectations, compared with 72.2 percent at the end of the interim period.
Post the reporting period, Rebosis said it had entered into negotiations with local and offshore institutions and pension funds for a transaction that could change the financial matrix of the group and crystallise value for shareholders.
He said Rebosis continued to operate a robust business, it continued to see favourable rental escalations, the reduction in interest rates had a positive impact on results, all expiring bank facilities were renewed, while the board had been strengthened, all in the past six months.
Rebosis’ share price closed 3.57 percent higher at R0.29 on the JSE yesterday.