PrimeTime has revealed that it has re-geared many of its leases, securing strong covenant strength tenants for the long-term. These include G4S and Woolworths in Zambia, Tigers Milk in South Africa and Pick n Pay in Botswana. The group says the diversity of the portfolio and the fact that it now has close to 350 leases provides them with strong protection against shocks on individual properties or tenants.
In the past year, PrimeTime said it continued to assist impacted tenants navigate their way through trade restrictions and/or the tougher economic conditions, but believe it is starting to see the green shoots of recovery coming through. “While it is undeniable that we have been frustrated by external factors which have prevented us growing PrimeTime as we had envisaged back in 2019, we are have managed the challenges that have presented themselves and still have a pipeline of excellent opportunities on which PrimeTime will be able to capitalise in the coming years,” PrimeTime Director Sandy Kelly said. “We look forward to realising these with the assistance of our partners in the near future.’’
Accordingly, overall strategy throughout the last two years – that of working together with tenants and other stakeholders to support the survival of all – is reflected in low vacancy levels of below 3 percent.’
In terms of tenant mix, across the group 35 percent of the rental income is from major corporates, multinationals and commercial banks, 38 percent from established retail chains and a further 8 percent from the Government and parastatal sector – including foreign missions. The group believes this is a well-diversified and robust mix of tenants.
With Lobatse Junction and Pinnacle Park now generating income, Kelly said it will turn focus to transforming land bank into completed developments. “A substantial amount of work has already been completed in conceptualising these projects, liaising existing and potential future tenants and ensuring we are ready to go when the time comes,” noted Kelly. “Earthworks are all but complete for the first phase of an extension to our flagship Prime Plaza development in Gaborone’s CBD with completion expected in 2023. We are proud to have secured the first 5-star design rating for the property, a first for Botswana.”
Elsewhere, PrimeTime has a further phase of Pinnacle Park. With the first phase fully let and supply in the area limited management is confident of securing more high quality tenants, and an extension to the Boiteko Junction Mall in Serowe will enable them to accommodate several major retailers who have been trying to get into the existing space for many years.
In Zambia, the group said elections in August have created a wave of optimism which will filter through to the property market. “There has been a palpable increase in enquiries from occupiers seeking space,” Kelly said adding that while the effects will take time to manifest themselves in real rental growth there as a supply/demand imbalance is absorbed, the message is most definitely clear that Zambia is once again open for business.