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Ambit reports 6,9% unit growth on low vacancies

Posted On Friday, 19 May 2006 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Listed property loan stock company Ambit Properties on Thursday reported distribution growth of 6,9% to 14c a unit for the six months to March, compared with the same period last year.

Property-Housing-ResidentialThe company, which has a mix of office, retail and industrial properties, conceded the growth was slightly below the listed property-sector average of 8%- 9% but said it did not have the opportunity for significant growth from filling vacancies and major debt savings such as other companies in the sector.

CEO Nick Harris said Ambit had maintained consistently low vacancies since its listing in February 2004, so there was no major boost to income from filling large vacancies.

Harris said Ambit, which had a market capitalisation of about R740m and property assets of about R810m, was also too small to take advantage of debt-saving initiatives such as commercial-backed mortgage securitisation programmes. But he was confident Ambit's growth would come from rental growth as leases were renegotiated.

Harris said Ambit had renegotiated its debt interest rates with its banks, Absa and Nedbank, and that these positive effects would reflect in the second six months.

Ambit was also trying to increase the size of its property portfolio, as well as doing various upgrades to properties in its portfolio.

"We are doing an upgrade at Scottsville Mall in Pietermaritzburg at a cost of R10m," said Harris. The company would put better retailers in the mall.

"We've also bought a retail redevelopment site in Pinetown and we'll be redeveloping that in 2007. We are doing it jointly with another well-known Durban property owner," said Harris.

He said vacancies were 1,8% at the end of September and had increased to 3,8% in March this year. Vacancy levels were now 3%.

Harris said Ambit had doubled its unit price from R2 at listing to R4.


Last modified on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 13:21

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