National

Vukile’s operating profit takes a pandemic hit of R832m

JSE-listed Vukile Property Fund has seen its operating profit for the full-year ending March 31, 2021 sliding by simply over R830 million because of the pandemic-induced monetary fallout final year.

The actual property funding belief (Reit) that has a vital retail-focused presence in South Africa and Spain, reported in its newest outcomes Sens assertion on Wednesday that operating profit (earlier than finance prices) decreased to R1 796 million, in comparison with R2 628 million for its prior monetary year.


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While Vukile’s gross property income for the reporting interval decreased by solely round R300 million (from R3.4 billion in FY2020 to R3.1 billion), Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions to commerce noticed the fund having to supply rental aid to hard-hit tenants totalling R467 million.

This took a huge chew out of its income for the year.

“Revenue and operating profit reduced relative to the prior period, largely due to Covid-19 rent concessions granted to tenants, both in Southern Africa and Spain,” the group factors out in its Sens.

Despite the hit, Vukile says that it’s “very pleased” with the group’s total operating efficiency and the way it has “navigated the Covid-19 crisis” to this point.

“Vukile remains in very good shape operationally and financially, and with a clear strategic focus, the group is well positioned for long-term growth,” it notes.

“The macro-economic benefits of diversification will continue to be advantageous for our South African investors. The clearly focused retail specialisation strategy, in Southern Africa and Spain, is providing benefits in each of these markets, as seen by the strong operational results delivered in the worst of the Covid-19 crisis,” it provides.

Not all retail property counters are weathering the Covid-19 storm in addition to Vukile, which can also be benefitting from the higher efficiency of rural and township malls that make up most of its South Africa portfolio.

JSE-listed friends, similar to Canal Walk and Rosebank Mall-owner Hyprop, are seeing a slower recovery within the efficiency of city mega malls.

Vukile says that it believes it has “the right platform and approach to restore profitability to pre-pandemic levels over the next few years”.

The group declared a money dividend of 101.04 cents per share for its 2021 monetary year, which it plans to payout in July.

This is in comparison with a full-year dividend of 129.02 cents per share for its prior monetary year, ending March 2020.

However, Vukile’s newest full-year dividend relies on a payout ratio of 79%.

While the group has not supplied steering for its 2022 monetary year as a consequence of ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty, it has flagged that it’ll cut back its payout ratio.

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