Metboard stems tide of two sluggish years

Posted On Friday, 31 October 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Industrial-focused property loan stock company Metboard Properties has had a revival in fortunes.

Norbert SasseIndustrial-focused property loan stock company Metboard Properties has had a revival in fortunes with the interim distribution for each linked unit for the six months ended September increasing 6,8% to 18,0c compared with 16,86c for the same period last year.

After two years of sluggish growth, the company, which has a market capitalisation of about R700m, also reported that total debenture interest payable to linked unitholders had increased by 17,8%.

Revenue increased 8,2% to R84,11m and net operating income 12,4% to R36,9m from R31,3m for the corresponding period last year.

Metboard fund manager Jeffrey Sher said the significant factors contributing to this increase were the acquisition of three new properties during the period and a substantial decrease in vacancies from 7,75% in the year ended September last year to 5,2% a year later in a portfolio of 159 properties with a gross lettable area of 1,2-million m².

"We are optimistic that Metboard's total distribution for the year ended March 31 2004 will reflect an increase over the total distribution for the year ended March 31 2003," said Sher.

The company also reported headline earnings for each linked unit of 18,03c compared with 16,65c for the comparable period last year.

Norbert Sasse, head of property fund and asset management at Investec Property Group, which are the managers of Metboard's property portfolio and its fund management, said another positive contributing factor was the fact that the industrial property sector was showing general signs of improvement.

"That has also contributed to a decrease in vacancies. There's been a take up of space," Sasse said.

Metboard is exclusively industrial and intends keeping it that way.

Sasse said earnings had been under pressure for the past two years.

In the year ended March 2000, Metboard reported a distribution of 36c. It went up to 39c the next year, and remained relatively flat moving up to 39,12c last year. The distribution went down to 38c for the year ended March.

Metboard also announced that it had acquired eight properties in KwaZuluNatal, Gauteng and Western Cape for a total purchase price of R75,95m and had disposed of 10 properties in Western Cape, Gauteng, Free State and KwaZuluNatal for R31,15m.

Last modified on Friday, 09 May 2014 15:09

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