Sandton City Shopping Centre, of which Liberty Two Degrees owns a quarter. The landlord’s profit before tax fell 17% to R534.7m, partially due to interest expenses on debt raised in 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED
Sandton City Shopping Centre, of which Liberty Two Degrees owns a quarter. The landlord’s profit before tax fell 17% to R534.7m, partially due to interest expenses on debt raised in 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED

Property group Liberty Two Degrees warned on Thursday that profit for its six months to end-June could more than halve, with the group set to hold on to its interim distribution.

Distributable earnings per share are expected to fall between 40% and 55%, the group said in a trading update, although trading conditions have improved since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

“The first quarter generated results in line with expectations and we have seen a slow improvement in trading since the beginning of level 3 of the national lockdown on June 1,” Liberty Two Degrees said.

However, there had been a “severe impact” in its second quarter, the group said, and it would not be paying an interim distribution, having paid out 29.31c previously.

Liberty Two Degrees had a SA portfolio valued at R10.27bn at the end of December, and expects its valuation to have fallen 10%-20% over the six months to end-June.

The group's share price has fallen by about a fifth so far in 2020, while the JSE property index has plunged about 37%.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za