Commercial property sector stutters in low economic growth environment

Posted On Thursday, 20 November 2014 16:25 Published by
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Local economic outlook remains weak and SA is still feeling the effects of slow economic growth‚ says Accelerate Property Fund.

Michael Georgiou

The local economic outlook remains weak and SA is still feeling the effects of slow economic growth‚ Accelerate Property Fund said. It said the conditions had resulted in greater pressure being placed on consumer spending‚ which in turn placed the retail and commercial property sectors under pressure.

Accelerate said it continued in its growth phase‚ despite the tough economic conditions‚ by offering investors a stable cash flow and consistent capital returns. "Income and expenses were well managed and this‚ combined with the effect of fixing debt interest rates‚ had a positive effect on profitability‚ which would have otherwise been detrimentally affected by the interest rate hike earlier this year‚" the company said.

Accelerate‚ which listed onto the JSE in December 2013‚ released its interim results on Tuesday. The real estate investment trust (Reit) reported diluted headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 24.91c for the six months ended September 2014. It declared an interim cash distribution of 23.99c per share.

Accelerate earned a gross rental income of R335.8m for the period. The company's major expenses utility charges (R69.1m)‚ security (R11.45m) and cleaning costs (R4.76m) — were largely recovered in terms of tenant recoveries‚ it said.

Looking ahead‚ the company said it was well positioned to create shareholder value by being a participant in the major development in the Fourways area "making the most of opportunities to acquire properties and ensuring properties are well managed and maintained"‚ thereby ensuring sustainable returns to its shareholders.

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