Real estate investment trust Stor-Age has reported an 11.1% year-on-year total dividend increase to 97.8c a share for the year ended March 31.
The Stor-Age board on Tuesday said it is pleased with the strong trading results for the year in which the group continued to deliver real gains in rental rates and occupancy to drive sustainable revenue and earnings growth.
The strong results were achieved despite a challenging operating environment against a backdrop of uncertain political and economic events, and with many sector peers under performance pressure.
Stor-Age reported like-for-like growth in rental income and net property operating income of 10.6% and 11.8% respectively.
The property investment portfolio now stands at R3.85-billion, following major acquisitions in 2017 including Storage RSA, Unit Self Storage and StorTown, as well as the international acquisition of a 97% interest in Storage King, in the UK.
The Stor-Age portfolio comprises 49 self-storage properties totaling 348 000 m2.
Stor-Age reported a closing occupancy of 85.3% for South Africa and 78.2% for the UK, as well as a closing rental of R91.60/m2 for South Africa, which is up 9.2% year-on-year and excludes the acquisitions made during the year.
The company’s ability to close transactions and integrate trading stores seamlessly onto the operating platform has been demonstrated over the past 18 months.
Stor-Age’s total property revenue increased by 86.1% to R310-million, compared with R166.7-million in the prior comparable year period.
“Since the start of 2017, Stor-Age has successfully completed four significant transactions, including the offshore acquisition of Storage King. We have also initiated the development of two new self-storage properties in Bryanston and Craighall . . . and continued with the ongoing expansion at certain of our existing stores,” said Stor-Age.
Stor-Age stated that its South African customer base remains consistently loyal, boding well for continued sustainability.
Further, the UK self-storage market represents a significant growth opportunity and is characterised by a relative undersupply in comparison to the more established
Australian and US markets.
“Stor-Age's acquisition of Storage King represents an excellent entry point into this market as well as a scalable platform for the company to further grow its offshore portfolio,” noted Stor-Age.
Stor-Age CEO Gavin Lucas explained that the distribution guidance for the 2020 financial year is between 9% and 10% growth.