Saturday, May 30, 2020

Letlole’s hunger for growth, diversification

BY PORTIA NKANI

The Botswana Stock Exchange quoted property outfit – Letlole La Rona (LLR) is looking to acquire properties in the region particularly Zambia and Namibia.

LLR Chief Executive Officer, Chikuni-Shenjere-Mutiswa told Sunday standard on the sidelines after the Company’s financial release this Friday that retail and industrial will be the very key segments to eye for as they expand regionally. However, no properties have been purchased as yet.

Mutiswa said “we are trying to avoid residential and hospitality because of change management and change in standard lease agreements respectively. We concluded that the assets that were considering in Zambia were not an appropriate fit for the portfolio at this time. We definitely remain on the hunt there, keeping an eye on the macroeconomics developments.”

In addition, the Company is also keeping a close eye on Namibia which it is now in the middle of, depending on how it progresses, he said. The management is looking to update its shareholders before the end of this financial year.

Meanwhile on the financial results performance side, the Company recorded an impressive revenue hike to P51.2million from P38.8million recorded in the previous same reporting period. According to the management this is largely attributable to the addition of the Mahalapye’s Watershed Piazza which was acquired in May 2018 as well as the 7.5 percent annual weighed average lease escalations across the portfolio.

The Company’s Chief Financial Officer, Kamogelo Mowaneng said, Watershed with a single vacancy of 40 sqm, is essentially fully let at 99.6 percent. The major tenants include Choppies, Woolworths, Barclays, First Nation Bank, Jet, Pep and Dunns. “Both these retail anchors are on long term leases which have long periods to renewal. During the comparative 12 months, the investment portfolio value grew by 26 percent to P1.02million from P805million in the prior year with gross yield of 10 percent,” Mowaneng indicated when presenting the financials.

As indicated earlier, a new addition to the portfolio during the period was an up-market industrial estate comprising of 9mini-warehpuses as well as Watershed in Mahalapye.

Commenting on the results, Mutiswa said LLR continue to consolidate its position as a significant player in the local property market with a portfolio of just over P1billion. The portfolio is diverse he said, adding that as it is invested across industrial, commercial office, retail, residential and leisure sectors and remain well managed.

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Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.