Nick Riley. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES
Nick Riley. Picture: FINANCIAL TIMES

Investec Property Fund (IPF) has redeemed itself after some lean years, delivering a strong performance in the past half-year, having enhanced the returns at many assets across its portfolio.

The group, which grew its core dividend per share 7.2% in the six months to September, has bedded down various acquisitions and has been helped by its holding in Investec Australia Property Fund (IAPF).

IPF had released some disappointing financial results for a few periods, but CEO Nick Riley has started to bring momentum back to the diversified real estate investment trust.

The company’s share price was up only 0.97% year to date as many fund managers have lost interest in the stock, but improved financial results should swing sentiment in a positive direction.

"This is a pleasing set of results in light of the economic environment," said Riley.

"As management, we have been internally focused on securing the sustainability of revenue through proactive letting activity and early engagement with clients," he said.

IPF announced an interim dividend of 68.37c per share for the reporting period, compared with 60.91c per share for the corresponding period a year ago. This represents year-on-year growth of 12.2%.

Included in the interim dividend was a one-off antecedent dividend received from IAPF. This related to a final dividend for financial year 2017, which was received on IAPF shares that IPF subscribed for in a February rights offer.

On a normalised basis, the core year-on-year dividend per share growth was 7.2%. It has guided for dividend growth of 7% to 8% for the year to March.

IPF has 119 properties in SA valued at R17.6bn, along with a R1.3bn investment in IAPF, and a R200m investment in Investec Argo UK Property Fund.

IPF’s results were "not bad" but held no surprises for the market, said Evan Robins, listed property manager for Old Mutual Investment Group’s MacroSolutions boutique.

"They’ve met expectations but the market will wait to see what they can achieve in the next financial year in terms of good acquisitions," he said.

IAPF meanwhile grew its interim dividend 3.0% for the half-year to September.

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