Property Picture: SUPPLIED

Europe-focused hotel and leisure property investment vehicle International Hotel Properties (IHL), formerly International Hotel Group, has announced a full-year maiden dividend of 5.50p.

The company listed on the JSE in October last year, intending to attract investors seeking sterling-denominated returns as they diversified away from local assets. IHL has a market capitalisation worth R1.120bn

The company owns a portfolio of income-yielding hotel assets. The company owned eight hotels at the end of August, having acquired three in November last year, one in March this year and two in April 2016. Its Travelodge Belvedere development was completed in April this year. Its first hotel had been acquired in the previous financial year.

This meant the business had not experienced a full year of revenue from the majority of its hotels. The prior year was non-comparable as the portfolio only comprised one owned hotel for any significant period of time in that year.

IHL is the only pure offshore hotel property income paying company on the JSE. Hospitality Property Fund, a real estate investment trust which is majority owned by Tsogo Sun, is a domestic focused listed on the bourse.

IHL had paid an interim dividend of 2.5p per share for the six months to February and a further 3p per share for the six months to August, bringing the first full year dividend to 5.5p per share. For the year under review, the company reported underlying distributable earnings of £2m.

"Significant milestones have been reached this year in establishing a well-positioned and focused hotel property investment group that delivers strong value to our shareholders. Over the past year, our hotel portfolio has generated good returns and we continue to assess hotel acquisitions which offer the right yield," said CEO John Colley.

As much as £52.3m equity was raised during the year through multiple placements of new ordinary shares at £1.00 per share, which together with debt facilities accessed with Banco Santander, funded acquisitions and developments during the period.

Colley said the UK market for hotels near airports was strong and he expected IHL to perform well in the coming financial year.

© Business Day

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