Vukile looks to grow the fund 'aggressively'

Posted On Tuesday, 22 November 2011 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Looking forward, Vukile (VKE) plans to grow more aggressively by focussing on retail and improving the quality of their office portfolio, according to Laurence Rapp, CEO of Vukile Property Fund.

Laurence Rapp

Rapp said at the company's interim results presentation in Sandton that the fund intended to be seen as an independent and leading player in the industry.

The property loan stock company on Monday reported a 7.5% increase in its interim distribution to 54.31 cents per linked unit.

Net rental income, excluding straight-line rental accruals, increased by 8% to R276.2 million, while net profit, before debenture interest, increased by 25% to R260.9 million.

A major upgrade to Randburg Square was underway and was due to be completed by the first of April next year.

Ina Lopion, Executive Director of the Asset Management division at Vukile, said that there was pipeline activity of R523m in retail developments being evaluated.

Rapp said that retail assets were performing "adequately with no anticipated large vacancies for [the] remainder of [the] financial year".

He said the move to improve the quality of their office assets was motivated by a long term outlook.

"Nobody really knows where the bottom of the market is, but we hope we have seen the bottom."

Rapp said that it was a good idea to buy office property with the view that hopefully once the sector improved, the fund would reap the benefit.

He said the acquisition of a portfolio of 20 properties from Sanlam, which was announced last week, was the first step in Vukile's growth strategy and would add some R1.5 billion, or 25%, to the value of its portfolio.

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 11:56

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