South Africa-based Hyprop Investments has reported a 7.6 percent rise in distributions for the six months ended June.
The retail-focused property fund also received its first dividend of R1.4 million from its 37.5 percent stake in Atterbury Africa which is jointly controlled by the Atterbury Group and Hyprop and focuses on shopping centre investments in Africa.
Atterbury Africa is taking a focused approach, working with South African retailers and targeting countries that can accommodate several investments.
Ghana has been the focus of its attentions, where it has acquired a significant interest in the successful Accra Mall in Ghana and where it is planning to develop further shopping centres.
Atterbury Africa is also looking at other projects in Mozambique, and Zambia, where the Waterfalls mixed-use hotel, retail and office development is being built in Lusaka.
"Hyprop's focus is to develop and own quality shopping centres and this joint venture affords us the perfect opportunity in Africa," says CEO Pieter Prinsloo.
In the first months of the year, vacancy levels across Hyprop's portfolio increased slightly to 2.7 percent due to increased vacancies at value centres. Its shopping centre vacancies were below one percent, while office vacancies decreased from 9.1 percent in December to 8.1 percent.
Hyprop changed its year-end to June 30 to facilitate its conversion to a Reit (real estate investment trust) and converted to a Reit on July 1.
It said it will, in due course, "implement a capital restructure to simplify its capital structure and ensure compliance with legislation."
Hyprop added that it expects to show distribution growth of between 6.5 percent and 8.5 percent for the year ending June 2014 – taking into account "the short-term dilution due to the Rosebank Mall redevelopment."
"The Rosebank node has been under major development for the past five years," Prinsloo says. "The Gautrain infrastructure has seen the node grow to the second busiest business district in Johannesburg, resulting in large corporates moving their head offices to Rosebank. Rosebank Mall is doubling in size to 62,000m2. The construction programme is on schedule and we anticipate the completion of the mall in September 2014. Interest from the market in the mall has been phenomenal with 95 percent let. Rosebank Mall will see the first Edgars in Rosebank, a double level Woolworths Platinum store and a Dischem are among the top national retailers incorporated into the scheme."
Hyprop is South Africa's largest listed retail property fund and its portfolio is valued at a cool R21.5 billion.
We interviewed Mr Prinsloo for the sixth edition of Africa Outlook, due to be published on Wednesday (September 4).
Image: © Hyprop Investments
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