Stephen Delport. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Stephen Delport. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Lighthouse Capital says its new focus on owning property directly and no longer buying stakes in infrastructure assets is starting to pay off.

During the six months to March, the company returned €600m of capital to shareholders after exiting its investments in infrastructure assets and concessions, CEO Stephen Delport said.

It now owns two malls in Portugal and one in Slovenia. After the returns of capital payments, the vast majority of the group’s revenue was generated from its direct property investments. 

Lighthouse achieved 1,8310 euro cents of distributable earnings per share for the first half of its 2019 financial year.

“The board’s distribution policy allows for the retention of distributable earnings. The board has declared a distribution of 1,5000 euro cents per share for the six months ended March 2019,” it said.

After adjusting for the returns of capital, Lighthouse increased its net asset value per share by 11.3% to 55.59 euro cents.

Lighthouse’s gearing was 28%, which remained well below the board's limit of 45%.

The forecast distribution per share for the group’s 2019 financial year was expected to be about 3.0 euro cents per share, which was within the previous guidance of between 2.5 and 3.5 euro cents per share.

Lighthouse is a member of the Resilient group of property companies alongside Resilient, Fortress and Nepi Rockcastle, which saw a large sell-off of their shares in early 2018. 

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is investigating the trades of the four companies’ shares, as well as the directors’ actions at the companies.

The FSCA has cleared the directors and staff of all four companies of insider trading. It has also found no evidence of false and misleading reporting by Nepi Rockcastle in 2017.