Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

MAS Real Estate is finally in a position to sell some of its high-quality assets in Europe and continue to deliver strong dividend growth, says newly appointed CEO Morné Wilken.

The group, which on Monday released financial results for the six months to December, declared a dividend of 3.58 euro cents per share, representing an increase of 34.6% over the comparative period in the previous financial year.

One of the brains behind Waterfall City in Midrand and the former CEO of Attacq, Wilken — who joined MAS in January — said MAS was looking to sell some assets in western Europe in order to raise capital, which could be redeployed to fund a €400m pipeline across the continent.

"We are being offered extremely attractive prices for some of our western European assets and it’s a great time to sell," Wilken said.

"This enables us to make substantial acquisitions within the next six to 12 months."

MAS’s east European partner is Prime Kapital, run by Martin Slabbert and Victor Semionov. It has a division called PKM Developments.

The improvement in distributable earnings was driven by the full period effect of accretive acquisitions, completion of developments and the deployment of capital into PKM Developments, Wilkin said.

MAS would continue to be aggressive in rolling out its acquisition and development pipeline, which put it on track to achieve its targeted distribution per share growth of at least 30% per annum until June 2019, said MAS’s chief financial officer, Malcolm Levy.

Jay Padayatchi, director at Meago Asset Management, said the results met expectations apart from the group suspending work on a mixed-use project in the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana, where the company said "regulatory issues were insurmountable".

"We have been consistently saying that we won’t commit serious capital until the regulatory aspects are resolved," Slabbert said.