Vukile to declared reduced dividend

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Vukile to declared reduced dividend

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Published Date: 2021-05-31 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Vukile to declared reduced dividend

The property fund says the start of its financial year coincided with the outbreak of Covid-19, resulting in rental relief for tenants.

Vukile Property Fund has warned that full-year distributable earnings - as well as its dividend - will be lower due to the impact of Covid-19 on its property portfolio in SA and Spain.

The real estate investment trust has a portfolio of direct property investments in SA, Namibia and Spain. About half its assets are in Spain through its majority stake in Castellana Properties. It also holds stakes in other listed SA property funds.

In a trading statement, it said the start of its financial year coincided with the onset of the pandemic and ensuing hard lockdowns in Southern Africa and Spain. To assist its tenants through the crisis, it granted them rent concessions, impacting its earnings.

For the year to end-March, it expects distributable earnings per share to be between 31% and 33% lower than the 187.25c reported last year. Its dividend per share is likely to be 20.5% to 23% down from the 129c declared for the period period. It didn't declare an interim dividend so it could retain cash due to the uncertainty around the pandemic.

Whilst the vaccine roll-out programme in Spain was progressing well and Covid-19 related incidents were decreasing, Vukile said there was still uncertainty in the market. As a result, it decided it was in the best interest of both companies that Vukile extend the repayment date of a €17.5-million shareholder loan extended to Castellana late year until July 2022.

Vukile's shares closed 4.9% higher at R9.90 on Friday.





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