Global logistics property trends continue to reflect in Equites results, says CFO Laila Razack

The property fund has seen strong results from the attractive development pipeline of logistics properties.

Equites Property Fund has continued to benefit from the outperformance of the logistics property market globally, with supply chain optimisation, the growth in e-commerce and consumers’ requirements for faster fulfilment driving strong occupier demand for warehousing space.

“We are a specialist logistics REIT and the logistics sector has been experiencing a massive boom globally,” says CFO Laila Razack. “This is driven by, inter alia, the shift to online retail in favour of brick-and-mortar and supply chain optimisation.”

These global trends continue to reflect in Equites’s results, with distribution per share and net asset value per share exceeding pre-Covid-19 levels. The group raised R1.3 billion in equity over the last six months, resulting in a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 28.6 percent at 31 August 2021.

The group also refinanced over R1.2 billion of debt facilities during the period, with more than 60 percent of the debt maturing after February 2024.

“I am most proud of the consistency in our results and the fact that the growth in distribution is driven by strong underlying like-for-like rental growth. I am also very happy with the strength of our balance sheet and the low LTV, which provides us with the capacity to execute our development pipeline,” Laila says.

Laila adds that the stability and predictability in Equites’ income stream is underpinned by the fact that 97 percent of the group’s tenants are A-grade (or blue-chip). “I am happy with the robust set of results we have presented in a rather turbulent climate, and I would say that we need to continue to focus on the fundamentals which have seen us through this period.”

She explains that the strong performance over the last six months is underpinned by resilient property portfolios in South Africa and the UK, which is further enhanced with the attractive development pipeline of logistics properties in the top-end of the UK logistics market.

“We remain well-capitalised and we are looking to grow our property portfolio through acquisitions and developments both in SA and the UK,” she says.