While COVID-19 continues to be the single biggest macro-economic effect of 2021, RDC Properties Limited says its results for the half-year ended 30 June 2021 demonstrate resilience of its portfolio and strong base from which it is diversifying through a proposed acquisition of Tower Property Fund Limited.
The Group has benefited from both a strengthening rand and acquisitions, resulting in a 6 percent increase in the investment portfolio to P2.35 billion. Revenue is P72.5 million, an increase of 17 percent, mainly due to the positive impact of the acquisitions in Capitalgro, which have been held for the full period compared with the prior period.
The resultant profit from operations of P45 million has increased by 9 percent despite the reduced impact of foreign exchange. Surplus arising on investments relates to the Group’s USA assets. Returns on Research Court are cash-backed while the Manning will be realised on completion. The profit for the period is therefore up by 19 percent, demonstrating the resilience of the RDC portfolio and robustness of its diversification strategy.
“As a welcome addition to our hospitality portfolio in South Africa, the Radisson RED Hotel Rosebank, Johannesburg has been completed and has opened its doors to widespread accolade from the sector,” says the company. “The property was acquired by the Group post the reporting date in July 2021. The 222-room hotel is in a pre-opening stage with full operation to commence from October 2021.
“The project was completed on budget at R405 million, with the property funded in part by a loan from Nedbank of R200 million,” RDC announced. “The value of the hotel is expected to increase substantially when assessed by an independent valuer at year end.”
In Botswana, the Group’s commercial, retail, industrial and residential portfolios have performed largely in line with budget. Leasing activity is taking traction, with some 40 leases being either renewed or entered afresh in the period.
While the hospitality, leisure and entertainment sector along with food retailers are still seeing a depressed trading environment and have not yet experienced the much-anticipated and needed rebound, RDC Properties expects to see a pick-up as soon as the State of Public Emergency and its restrictions are lifted and hopes for a normalisation in Q2/Q3 2022.
The Group’s results are underpinned by strong collection numbers as tenants most affected by the restrictions have agreed to a restructuring of their debt.
On the proposed acquisition of Tower Property Fund Limited, the Group says there have been several cautionary announcements published on the BSE and the JSE via a scheme of arrangement or general offer of shares in Tower Property Fund Limited, a JSE-listed REIT of circa R4, 2 billion in total asset value.
“The transaction has respective (RDCP and Tower) shareholder support by way of irrevocable letters of commitment to vote in favour of the proposed offer, and will be funded by way of a rights issue to raise the required equity of R885 million and Rand-denominated debt of R400 million to meet the offer price of R1, 285 million including costs,” says the Group.
“Tower has a quality portfolio of 42 properties spread across Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Croatia in Eastern Europe. The deal is expected to be Net Asset Value and earnings accretive for RDCP shareholders and will usher in a new growth era for the business.”
RDC Properties Limited is a variable rate loan stock company. It develops and invests in modern commercial, industrial and residential buildings in various locations in Botswana and Madagascar. The company operates through the property rentals segment with the property portfolio of the company in Botswana including Masa Centre, Chobe Marina Lodge, Isalo Rock Lodge and Gaborone West Warehouses.
RDC Properties, through HMS1 Societe Anonyme (HMS1), operates Isalo Rock Lodge. Gaborone West Warehouses includes approximately 10 warehousing units in the Gaborone West industrial area.