Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Attacq, which owns the Waterfall precinct in Gauteng, will pay its long-awaited first dividend in October 2018, rewarding patient investors with R500m.

Attacq plans to become an income-paying real estate investment trust (Reit) in 2018.

The group made the announcement during the release of its financial results for the six months to the end of December on Tuesday.

It also reported that its net asset value per share rose 9.5% during the period. The group generated distributable earnings per share of 38.9c.

“As we transition to a real estate investment trust, we remain focused on our four value drivers, namely our South African portfolio, strategic investment in MAS Real Estate, the Waterfall development pipeline and our retail investments in the rest of Africa while ensuring that we deliver sustainable growth and unlock shareholder value,” said interim CEO Melt Hamman.

Over the past six months Attacq had concluded a total of 92,456m² of leases for new office and industrial space.

Attacq owns 22.7% of MAS Real Estate, which holds properties in western and eastern European real estate markets.

Hamman said Attacq, which has been listed on the JSE since 2013, would pay a dividend of 73c per share, which equated to R512m. It was expected that Attacq’s distributions would grow 20% a year for the next three financial years from July 1.

Investors had encouraged the group to pay income out of its various assets, especially its retail centres, and Hamman said Attacq had “listened”.

However, fund managers had mixed views on the results.

“Attacq’s results reflected a mixed bag of operating metrics, with net asset value rising but vacancies and arrears creeping up,” said Jay Padayatchi, of Meago Asset Management.

“Most telling from a retail perspective is the fact that their malls are, on the whole, showing a below-inflationary increase in trading densities, reflecting the increased competition as well as the general pressure on the consumer.”

Craig Smith of Anchor Stockbrokers said the results were “decent”. “They progressed in the roll-out of Waterfall bulk. Attacq has secured Deloitte, Sage and Accenture over the last circa six months, which is encouraging.”