Electricity pylons at an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Electricity pylons at an Eskom coal-burning power station near Sasolburg. Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

JSE-listed landlord Tradehold, which focuses mainly on SA and the UK, says demand for industrial and commercial property in Africa’s most advanced economy will remain depressed because of power cuts.

“The economy is expected to continue to struggle in an environment of low business confidence deepened by slow structural reform and with the albatross of Eskom around its neck,” the group said.

“In such an environment, demand for industrial and commercial space is expected to remain restricted.”

Tradehold, which recently unbundled its financial services interests, said on Friday the value of its assets fell to £859m at the end of February, from £1.1bn a year before.

Revenue in the year to end-February dropped to £96.4m from  £101.5m, while total profit attributable to shareholders plunged to £13.2m from £30.8m.

The decrease was mainly due to the loss in the fair-value adjustment of its investment properties of £17.3m, though this was partly offset by a £8.6m fair value gain on financial assets relating to investment property, it said.

Tradehold’s SA properties are mostly held in Collins Group, while in the UK, they are housed in the Moorgarth group.

The company said it had adopted a “defensive strategy” in SA. It was reducing debt, strengthening its balance sheet, and selling noncore assets.

It aimed to keep vacancies at 1.95%.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za