Acsion makes slow progress with Sandton mega-project

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Acsion makes slow progress with Sandton mega-project

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Published Date: 2019-10-30 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Acsion makes slow progress with Sandton mega-project

The property developer and manager expects to deliver Asciopolis at the end of its 2021 financial year.

Acsion says development of its landmark Acsiopolis mixed-used development in Sandton has been delayed by the construction slowdown in SA. But it says its development team has made considerable effort to keep the project on track. And when it delivers the final Acsiopolis to the market at the end of its 2021 financial year, it says it will represent the largest single-phase development it's undertaken to date in the country.

In the meantime, however, the property developer and manager says holding costs relating to the Asciopolis development affected first-half profit, as did rebuilding part of its Mall@Emba shopping centre in eMbalenhle in Mpumalanga due to fire damage. Final leasing commitments for the extension at Mall@55 in Monavoni in Gauteng are in progress, with the opening of the second phase expected late next year. And it's completed the construction of the KFC drive-thru at Mall@Moutsiya and the Burger King drive-thru at Mall@Carnival.

Revenue rose 4.2% to R336 million in the six months to end-August, largely due to an inflationary increase in leases, but profit fell 6.4% to R133 million as its tax bill increased, paid higher finance costs and benefitted from fewer early lease termination penalties. Headline earnings per share declined by 6.8% go 32.9c. It's not paying an interim distribution after paying out 25c in the prior comparable period.

The weighted vacancy for its portfolio was 3.7% at the end of August, down from 6.3% the previous year, and its net asset value increased by 16% to 1,768.3c per share.

Acsion said it remained focused on unlocking development profits and generating annuity income, locally and internationally. It's embarked on its first international retail development with the Metropolis Mall@Larnaca in Cuprus. Earthworks have been completed for the 39,000 square metre retail centre after it received final building approvals from the Cyprus government. It says this will provide it with a natural currency hedge once it's operational.

Its shares didn't trade yesterday, closing unchanged at R6. The results were released as the market closed.





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