Emira soldiers on with its recovery

Emira Property Fund has ramped up efforts over the past six years to reduce exposure to the struggling office sector by selling underperforming properties and revamping older buildings.

It’s made headway, with the number of office properties reducing to 52 in 2017 (2011:73). The office sector is vulnerable to lower tenant demand, higher vacancies and faltering rental growth in low-economic growth cycles.

Emira’s full-year 2017 dividend growth fell 2% to R1.43 per share. Its share price has faltered 3.8% in the past year. However, it foresees positive dividend growth in 2018. Vacancies across retail, office and industrial property portfolio rose to 5.7% from 5.3% in the previous year and its tenant retention rate dropped to 72% from 77%.

“While there are positive signs of operating improvement in the results there is nothing to get too excited about yet,” said Old Mutual Investment Group portfolio manager Evan Robins. CEO Geoff Jennett said Emira’s on its way to turning its fortunes around and underperforming office properties are being sold.

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