Equites CEO Andrea Taverna-Turisan. Picture: SUPPLIED
Equites CEO Andrea Taverna-Turisan. Picture: SUPPLIED

Equites Property Fund, the high-end industrial logistics park owner, has recovered most of the Covid-19 rental relief that it gave to its tenants in 2020.

The real estate investment trust (Reit), which owns assets in SA and the UK, said in a pre-close investor presentation it has recovered 100% of the short-term Covid-19 rental relief and only has R6m left of the long-term still to be recovered over the relevant lease terms.

Additional rental relief amounting to R1.4m in the form of discounts were granted to two small tenants during the first half of the 2022 financial year to end-February.

Equites said it achieved a 99.4% rental collection rate for the period from March to end-July.

The Reit, which raised R1bn a month ago to fund acquisitions, has been a strong performer since it listed in 2014. It owns R12bn worth of assets in SA and R7.4bn in the UK that include logistics parks, which are gaining in popularity worldwide.

Graphic: RUBY-GAY MARTIN
Graphic: RUBY-GAY MARTIN

Having listed with R1bn in 2014 at R10.60, Equites grew its dividend by double digits every year until the Covid-19 pandemic engulfed SA in 2020. The stock was trading at R20.08 at the end of Wednesday, giving Equites a market capitalisation of R14bn.

Equites has achieved a total return of more than 190% including share price and dividend growth since listing, equating to a more than 16% total return on an annualised basis.

The company led by CEO Andrea Taverna-Turisan specialises in providing space to multinationals that are prepared to sign leases for 10, 15 and 20 years and who, given their commercial might and insurance, often meet every rental payment on time.

Unlike a traditional warehouse, logistics parks offer a larger amount of space for storing goods and products. They are more spacious and better managed than warehouses. They tend to be designed so that extensions can be added easily without making large changes to the existing property.

Equites reported that there was insignificant damage amounting to an estimated less than R1m to a property in KwaZulu-Natal housing Pick n Pay during July’s civil unrest.

In response Equites will increase security in its logistics parks.

andersona@businesslive.co.za

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