Property services group boosted by M&A activity

Posted On Tuesday, 13 May 2008 02:00 Published by
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Against the background of the global property down turn, local energy constraints and increased interest rates and inflation, property services company JHI, has shown substantial growth and cemented its place as a leading player in the property services sector

This within the first year operating as a consolidated property services company, and CEO Marna van der Walt says the company is exceptionally well positioned for further growth, with the team determined to deliver a 15 to 20 % year on year growth in 2008.

The merger of Gensec and JHI in February 2007 saw the company increase assets under management by 30%.  Subsequently the company’s organic growth has provided an additional 30% to the asset base. This growth is mainly attributed to being awarded the management of the Pangbourne Groups’ Property Funds and other smaller portfolios. The company now commands a portfolio of R31 billion, equating to 7.7 million square meters under management.

The portfolio now includes approximately 225 shopping centres , including regional shopping centres such as Greenstone, Kolonnade,  Fourways, East Rand, Chatsworth and Shelly Beach Malls amongst others, as well as 515 office and corporate premises and  295 industrial properties.

Over the last 14 months the property portfolio has grown from 300 to 1035 buildings and from 6000 to 12700 tenants in the same time period. The company’s staff compliment has grown from 292 to 612 staff members.

The BEE shareholding has been bedded down resulting in the company now being 51 % black owned. “This now adds real weight to our growth strategy in government, parastatal and corporate market sectors.” 

The merger facilitated a larger reach for the group with a more efficient management of overheads. We are now able to build a stronger platform for growth, offering a comprehensive spectrum of services and a broader perspective.” says Van der Walt. “The real magic has happened as a result of the people. The combination of teams, the maturing of business offerings and addition of services has made a significant difference to our stability and growth as a company.”

The company’s geographical footprint has also extended significantly and the company is now operating in 13 national locations, 9 African and some Middle Eastern locations.

“Our core business is still property and retail management, including the leasing of our managed portfolios in South Africa. Facilities, project and development management, valuations and broking are starting to add meaningful value to to the bottom line.” says Van der Walt.

Looking forward to the second half of 2008, Van der Walt says the property market has cooled down and is coming under pressure.” The challenge is to embrace the change, deal with the difficulties and find the opportunities.”

Publisher: eProp
Source: JHI Properties

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