Rental income for the interim period decreased to GBP9 million (GBP10.3 million). Profit for the period was down to GBP2.8 million (GBP5.6 million). In addition, headline earnings per share was lower at GBP1.8 pence per share (GBP3.7 pence per share).
The board is pleased to announce that a dividend of GBP 3.6 pence per share (GBP 5.5 million) has been declared for the year under review and this, combined with the interim dividend, totals GBP 7.2 pence per share (GBP 11 million). An announcement, containing details of this dividend, will be made on the Stock Exchange News Service ("SENS") of the JSE as well as the website of the SEM in due course.
During the past year, the Company's business strategy has continued to evolve to take into account changes in the prevailing political and economic climate. In particular, the impact of the European investment property market's reaction to Brexit and ensuing Article 50 negotiations as to the terms under which the UK will leave the European Union has been felt. New Frontier's strategy continues to retain its retail focus in the UK but has been refined to extend to acquisitions of property (both retail and non-retail) within mainland Europe, with a preference given to logistics/warehouse assets in the UK, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland and Benelux.
In line with this new investment strategy, the Company has explored a number of opportunities in mainland Europe and is close to executing transactions in Austria and Germany in the logistics/warehouse space. These proposed acquisitions, together with the imminent purchase of the Stadium Business Park Unit in Ireland, will provide the Group with exposure to the European logistics/warehouse market enabling the Company to benefit from the increase in e-retailing activity across Europe as well as broadening its hard currency exposure.