Sandton City Shopping Centre in Johannesburg. Liberty Two Degrees owns a quarter of the centre. Picture: SUPPLIED
Sandton City Shopping Centre in Johannesburg. Liberty Two Degrees owns a quarter of the centre. Picture: SUPPLIED

Liberty Two Degrees, the landlord that owns a quarter of Sandton City Shopping Centre, has kept its half-year dividend unchanged as mall owners grapple with stagnant consumer demand.

The company’s net property income in the six months to end-June rose 24.2% to R338.8m thanks to recent acquisitions, which helped it grow its portfolio value to R10.2bn.

But Liberty Two Degrees, which also owns stakes in Eastgate Shopping Centre and Melrose Arch, said it will keep its interim distribution unchanged at 29.31c a share.

Retail-focused landlords have been grappling with weak consumer demand amid SA’s economic stagnation.

They have also had to contend with Edcon’s struggles to turn itself around. The owner of Edgars stores was recently recapitalised with the help of landlords and has been cutting space.

As part of the recapitalisation, Liberty Two Degrees became an investor in Edcon. That investment is worth R17.5m.

“The South African economy remains under pressure with low growth forecast for the remainder of 2019,” Liberty Two Degrees said.

“The quality and robust nature of the Liberty Two Degrees property portfolio is evident in the company’s solid operational performance despite the negative impact of low macroeconomic growth on the consumer,” it added.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za