High quality portfolio boosts Hyprop's growth

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Hyprop has posted commendable results for the six months to June 2011 with distributions for the interim period up 4% to 181 cents per unit and a 9,7% rise in net income from shopping centers.

Hyprop is soon to become entrenched as South Africa’s premier listed shopping Centre fund when it acquires Attfund Retail on 1 September. The R9 billion acquisition is set to almost double Hyprop’s asset base to aroundR20 billion and boost market capitalization to just under R14 billion.
 
Hyprop CEO Pieter Prinsloo says: “Our high quality shopping centers ensured continued growth with like-for-like revenue up 10,5%”. Property assets increased by 3% to R11,6 billion in value.Net asset value (“NAV”) rose2,5% to R48,46 per unit. NAV excluding deferred tax was up 3% to R58,68 per unit.
Vacancies remained unchanged for the period at 3,9%, with Hyprop enjoying continued strong demand for store space in the super regional and large regional malls.
 
The local downturn in the hospitality industry impacted negatively on the performance of the fund’s hotels – The Grace and the Southern Sun Hyde Park –resulting in a net loss for the period and the imminent closure of The Grace Hotel at the end of August. “We have been approached by various interested parties for The Grace Hotel premises and are optimistic of announcing a solution in this regard in due course,” says Prinsloo.
 
Hyprop’s enterprise development vehicle Vunani Property Investment Fund successfully listed on the JSE in August. Hyprop sold 50% of its interest for R100 million leaving it with an 11,5% stake in the listed fund.  Prinsloo says the strategy is to exit this investment over time.
 
The short- to medium-term development focus remains The Mall of Rosebank and Rosebank Gardens. “Pre-letting is currently underway.  We expect final town planning approvals in September, and if all approvals are in place, to start the redevelopment project in 2012.”
 
He says Hyprop will focus in the immediate term on bedding down the Attfund Retail acquisition.  “This is the largest single purchaser property transaction in South Africa in recent history.”  The acquisition includes shopping centers across Gauteng and the Western Cape, two of the more economically active regions in the country. “The acquisition will ensure that we gain critical mass while maintaining our specialist retail focus and quality of assets, and will also further bolster our asset management team,” he says.
 
In the year ahead Hyprop intends to continue selling non-core assets for exclusive focus on large, prime shopping centers in key urban locations. Prinsloo concludes: “Subject to market volatility and trading conditions remaining relatively positive for retail, we expect to see improved distribution growth over the next six months to year-end.”

Combined units in Hyprop closed yesterday at R55.30,

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