Ascension Properties to build on acquisition strategy

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The property income fund and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) saw revenue increase from 77 million rand for the six months ended 31 December 2012 to 164 million rand in 2013.

“During the six month period under review the transfers of Island Centre, Game Building, Atterbury House, Riverpark and Riverview were completed. Ascension also concluded agreements for the acquisition of Surrey House for a total purchase consideration of 146.2 million rand. This acquisition is unconditional, but is awaiting transfer,” [DATA AIA:Ascension Properties] said.

“The company achieved distributable earnings of 100.6 million rand for the six months ended 31 December 2013 in line with expectations. The company will pay an interim distribution of 19.95 cents per A-linked unit and 10.36 per B-linked unit.”

Net property and related income increased from 55 million rand in 2012 to 149 million rand in the 2013 period and operating profit was up from 52 million rand to 140 million rand.

Basic and fully diluted headline earnings per share also increased from 1.54 cents in 2012 to 1.90 cents in 2013.

“The company’s borrowings at 31 December 2013 amounted to 1.162 billion rand at a blended average rate of 7.51 per cent. Four hundred and eighty three million rand of borrowings has been fixed at an all-in rate of 7.42 per cent until December 2015. Subsequent to 31 December 2013 the company entered into a 500 million rand, three-month JIBAR interest rate cap at 6.72 per cent. The interest rate cap expires on 13 January 2017,” it said.

“The company will continue to target portfolio growth through its focused acquisition strategy of acquiring centrally located, larger commercial office buildings at yield accretive prices. Despite the recent increase of 50 basis points in the repo rate, the board remains confident that Ascension will meet its previously announced forecast distributions.”