Emira records strong year despite headwinds
JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has declared a final dividend of 66.65c apiece, taking the dividend for its financial year to June 30 to 118.65c apiece – up 13.7% on the previous year.
The company’s full-year distributable earnings of R649.1-million were 3.2% lower year-on-year, but Emira declared a cash-backed dividend based on its strong balance sheet and liquidity position.
During an August 18 webinar to unpack the company’s results, it was noted that Emira delivered on its key objectives for the year, despite an unprecedented operating environment and providing a further R33.6-million in rental remissions to mitigate the pandemic impacts.
Moreover, the company optimised its net income, selectively recycled an asset, upgraded core properties, maintained above-average occupancy levels, improved liquidity and extended its debt expiry profile.
CEO Geoff Jennett attributed the company’s strong performance to its diversification of assets, tenants, investment methodologies and funding.
“The diversified nature of Emira’s business model has proven defensive and our pre-pandemic portfolio rebalance has served our stakeholders well. We are pleased with how the portfolio and the business have performed this year in a tough environment, which is an excellent result, all things considered,” he said.
Emira closed its financial year with a 6.4% vacancy level in its direct portfolio.
It increased its tenant retention rate to 82%, achieved monthly collections of 99% of rent billed, and collected 95% of deferred rental from the April, May and June 2020 period.
Arrears decreased by R9.5-million over the year to R63.8-million.
Like-for-like tenant turnover in Emira’s urban retail portfolio, which comprises 38% of total property asset value and is 95.9% occupied, increased by 6.4% year-on-year.
Its industrial properties, which are 96.5% occupied and make up 14% of the overall Emira property portfolio, were said to have held up well, with an increase in demand for space with relatively favourable rentals being achieved.
Office properties, which comprise 24% of total property assets and are 83% occupied, are said to have the furthest to go owing to shifting working habits and the trend of downsizing and consolidating office space.