The secret to Vukile’s success

Cost management the secret to Vukile’s success

Property Fund plans on growing fund more aggressively.

Vukile Property Fund CEO, Laurence Rapp, says the company’s recent performance of net rental growth can largely be attributed to cost management generally and lowering the cost of funding. The company on Monday reported a 7.5% increase in its interim distribution to 54.31 cents per linked unit.

It says plans are underway to grow the fund more aggressively. This will include seeking opportunities in the Western Cape. Rapp says in Namibia Vukile’s properties in Rundu and Katima Mulilo are performing exceptionally well and now constitute 7% of the JSE-listed company’s portfolio.

The announced acquisition of 20 properties from Sanlam forms part of Vukile’s growth path and will add around R1.5bn or 25% to the value of its portfolio. Rapp says while it remains committed to being a diversified fund, the emphasis will be on retail.

“To this end, we are exploring acquisitions of retail centres as well as joint venture development opportunities in the retail environment that would complement our existing portfolio make-up. We also continue to believe in the strength and growth of retail in the emerging market and, based on the performance of our current retail assets, we will focus our expansion on this market segment,” Rapp said.

With regards to the Sanlam acquisition, Vukile will embark on several road shows in March 2012 to raise equity and debt for the deal.

Rapp says Vukile’s pipeline will also increasingly be exposed to office space. On the retail side, Vukile will be looking at the lower LSM retail in both rural and urban areas. This does not mean however, that it will not consider opportunities serving higher income groups should they present themselves.

“We will acquire some retail assets in the portfolio, notably Durban’s The Workshop, but the office assets being acquired will enhance the overall quality of our office portfolio as well,” Rapp says.


Denny Crane

Denny Crane
It's not me ... yet. Denny Crane from the TV series Boston Legal. Click on picture if you're not sure who he is!