Equites interim results August 2018
Revenue for the period increased to R335.7 million (2017: R262.6 million). Operating profit before financing activities decreased to R241.8 million (2017: R498.1 million), profit attributable to the owners of the parent fell to R226.1 million (2017: R466.9 million), while headline earnings per share decreased to 28.64 cents per share (2017: 59.88 cents per share).
Declaration of an interim cash dividend with the election to reinvest the cash dividend in return for Equites shares The board has approved and notice is hereby given of the declaration of a gross interim dividend (dividend number ten) of 68.11618 cents per share. Subject to final regulatory approvals, shareholders will be entitled, in respect of all or part of their shareholdings, to elect to reinvest the cash dividend in return for Equites shares. A circular containing details of the election to reinvest the cash dividend, and the requisite SENS announcements will be issued in due course.
The group has established itself as a developer of choice in SA for logistics facilities that meet the exacting requirements of large users with sophisticated supply chains. It has also successfully established itself as a recognised player in the sector in the UK, having concluded high quality transactions, which will have an estimated value of some ú220 million on completion of the current developments. The South African economy is undoubtedly under severe strain, but the group continues to see demand for modern logistics space and the group is benefitting from the increased importance of property specifications, security and location. The group had previously forecast full year distribution growth for the year ending 28 February 2019 to be 10% - 12% higher than the previous financial year. The board now expects the full year results to be in the upper quartile of this range.
This guidance is based on the assumptions that a stable macro- economic environment will prevail, no major tenant failures will occur, tenants will be able to absorb the recovery of rising utility costs and municipal rates, speculative builds will have a six-month vacancy on completion and that any vacant buildings will remain unlet for the forecast period. The forecast also assumes an average GBP/ZAR exchange rate for the year ended 28 February 2019 of R18.00. This forecast has not been audited or reviewed by Equites' auditors.