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Oryx acquires Gustav Voigts and SA properties

On 28 August 2013 Oryx Properties Limited, a NSX-listed property investment company, declared a distribution of 72.25 cents per linked unit for the six months to 30 June 2013. This is a 9.1% improvement over the 66.25 cents per unit declared for the comparative period. The total distribution to unitholders for the year amounts to 139.50 cents per unit, a 9% increase over the 2012 financial year.
According to CEO Stefan de Bruin the increase in distributions stems from a 18.4% growth in gross rental receipts mainly due to the full year effect of the property acquisitions in South Africa, the completion of the new Scania facility during December 2012, strong renewals and low vacancies. Distributable income was also enhanced by lower finance charges as a result of the current low interest rate environment and more favourable debt funding.
The direct property expense ratio increased slightly from 18.2% in 2012 to 18.8% and is mainly attributable to significant increases in the cost of electricity and municipal service charges as well as additional cleaning and security costs at Maerua Mall Shopping Centre due to the ongoing construction activities. The current economic climate has also resulted in the need for additional provisions for bad debts.
The core property portfolio was independently valued at N$1.48 billion at 30 June 2013. The valuer has valued the Maerua Mall node on an “as-if-complete” basis, which resulted in a N$25 million negative fair value adjustment. The cost capitalisation of N$172 million together with the negative fair value adjustment resulted in a value of N$853 millioin (2012: N$706m) for the Maerua Mall node at 30 June 2013, a 21% increase from the previous year.
The balance of the property portfolio grew by N$67 million (12%) from the previous year, of which N$37 million is from fair value adjustments and N$30 million from capital expenditure. The total growth in property value for the year ended 30 June 2013 is N$215 million (2012: N$361m) or 17% (2012: 19%). The strong renewals and excellent occupancy levels during the year is further evidence of the underlying quality of the property portfolio.
The N$350 million Maerua Mall extension and refurbishment project is nearing completion. The expected completion date of the majority of work is 30 November 2013. The remainder of the project which consists of the Checkers internal works is expected to be completed by March next year. New shops include a 2450m² Woolworths, 2600m² banking hall housing all the major banks, 450m² Pep Blue Sky, 280m² Legit and a 1900m² Checkers extension. The current tenant mix is also being reviewed to provide the Maerua Mall shoppers with a fresh offering. On completion the Maerua Mall node will offer 60,080m² of gross lettable area, which consists of 50,580m² retail space and 9,500m² office space.
An acquisition agreement to acquire the Gustav Voigts Centre from Growthpoint Properties Limited has also been signed.
During a special general meeting of Oryx unitholders held in July the Board received approval to raise additional equity through a rights issue in order to lower the gearing and to improve liquidity of the company. The intended rights issue will provide current unitholders with the opportunity to acquire one additional unit for every five owned. The full announcement is available from the NSX SENS, JSE SENS or the Oryx website at www.oryxprop.com.

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