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Africa|Financial|Projects|Rental|Resources|Service|Solar|Operations
Africa|Financial|Projects|Rental|Resources|Service|Solar|Operations
africa|financial|projects|rental|resources|service|solar|operations

Dipula reports improved metrics, hones in on solar

Dipula Income Fund CEO Izak Peterson

Dipula Income Fund CEO Izak Peterson

14th May 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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JSE-listed real estate investment trust Dipula Income Fund has reported improved operational and financial metrics, as well as strategic gains in a period that marked the first phase of its new solar PV initiative roll-out for the six months ended February 29.

Dipula’s revenue grew by 9% and its net property income by 6%, which the company says highlights efficient operations supported by rental growth.

While rental income remained under pressure, with some rentals still reverting to market owing to the persistent challenging conditions in the office sector, Dipula achieved a 2% increase in rental income.

The company says its net income growth was supported by Dipula’s “tight check” on expenses, which increased modestly relative to inflation levels. Dipula’s net asset value increased by 2% to R6-billion.

Higher interest rates, however, worked against Dipula’s gains, resulting in a 3% decrease in interim distributable earnings a share.

The declared dividends amounted to 90% of distributable earnings.

As at  February 29, Dipula’s portfolio was valued at about R9.8-billion. This was as a result of higher valuations at the end of August 2023. The portfolio is comprised of 166 properties with a total gross lettable area of 879 007 m2.

About R59-million was invested in refurbishments and redevelopments during the period.

The group says it is planning to invest a further R180-million in capital expenditure (capex) in the short to medium term. This will be funded from existing cash resources, new debt and capital recycled from disposals.

During a results presentation held on May 14, CEO Izak Peterson described the retail sector as the “star performer,” noting that Dipula had achieved positive turnover rates in all its retail categories for the period.

Moreover, Dipula reported that the board had approved an interim gross dividend for the six months to February 29 of 24.58c a share.

Meanwhile, during the six months under review, Dipula awarded a contract for 5.3 kW of solar projects at nine of its properties in the first phase of its solar roll-out. Dipula is investing R50-million in this phase, which is anticipated to be completed before the end of August.

PROSPECTS

Dipula says it anticipates stable conditions for the rest of the financial year to August 31 and an improved performance in 2025 as it completes various capital projects.

“Just looking ahead, you know, we basically expect the second half to be very similar to this first half, but we definitely look forward . . . to more exciting times as our capex rolls off into 2025,” said Peterson.

Dipula notes that, while there is little evidence to suggest that the economic prospects for South Africa will improve in the short term or that the structural issues facing South Africa will be addressed in the foreseeable future, the company will continue to focus on “controlling the controllable“ and being of service to its tenants and other stakeholders.

“We are focused on reducing vacancies, driving efficiencies and retaining solid balance sheet strength. Prudent capital allocation decisions are paramount in these times of scarcity of capital and tough trading conditions,” it reports.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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