Graeme Katz. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Graeme Katz. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Investec Australia Property Fund has been a consistent performer since listing on the JSE three-and-a-half years ago, benefiting from the Investec group’s asset management structures in the country.

The company grew its dividends 6.2% in Australian dollars during its financial year to March, results released on Wednesday showed.

On October 24 2013 the company was trading at R9.80 and it closed at R13.24 on Wednesday, about 35% higher.

"The fund’s performance is driven by the successful implementation of [its] strategy of acquiring properties with strong underlying fundamentals while also identifying opportunities to enhance yield and add value through active asset management," said CEO Graeme Katz.

Investec Australia Property announced a final distribution of 4.93c per unit before withholding tax and 4.60c per unit post withholding tax.

This brought the total distribution for the year to 9.74c per unit before withholding tax and 9.24c per unit after withholding tax. Nesi Chetty, head of listed property at Momentum Asset Management, said Investec Australia Property had managed to build a strong portfolio since listing and its financial results were in line with expectations.

During the year, it concluded acquisitions to the value of A$264m at an average yield of 7.2%, with four of these five acquisitions in New South Wales, which is Australia’s best-performing economy.

"The fund has made a conscious decision to increase its exposure to the office sector, particularly in the Sydney suburban office markets, where rentals are significantly cheaper than in the Sydney central business district, North Sydney and Parramatta," said Katz.

This meant it comprised 24 properties with a value of A$779m.

"The fund has built a valuable platform that would be very difficult to replicate given the continued flow of offshore capital into Australia and the current levels of direct asset pricing," Katz said.

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