Emira withdraws dividend guidance

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Emira withdraws dividend guidance

Published Date: 2020-03-26 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Emira withdraws dividend guidance

The property fund says it is unclear how Covid-19 will impact its balance sheet and distributable income.

Emira Property Fund says it is withdrawing the dividend guidance it recently gave investors due to uncertainty on how the Covid-19 pandemic will impact it financially. The real estate investment trust says it will provide new guidance when it has a clearer idea of how its operations will be affected.

Emira's portfolio is 90% exposed to SA, with 81% invested in direct retail, office and residential property. The remainder is invested in offshore indirect property, including the US, where it has co-invested in nine grocery-anchored retail centres with US-based partner The Rainier Companies.

After declaring an interim dividend of 74.1c per share for the six months to end-December, up 1.7% from a year earlier, it had guided investors to expect similar growth in the second six-month period.

The fund said it was taking on the crisis with a strong balance sheet, sustainable debt levels and a sound liquidity position. Its loan-to-value of 35.1% and interest cover ratio of 3.2 times at the end of December were well under its lowest banking covenants of 45% and 2.0 times, respectively. It has already refinanced most of its shorter-term debt maturities and less than R650 million of its R5.2 billion debt is due to expire before the end of the year. It also has cash on hand and undrawn facilities of R550 million, with further backup facilities in progress.

Its shares closed 4% higher at R6.78 yesterday.





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