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GRIT Real Estate - The next level

GRIT Real Estate - The next level

GRIT Real Estate Income Group (LON:GR1T), the leading pan-African real estate company, has released a trading update for its financial year ending June 2019. The company is on track to deliver its targeted 12% total shareholder return for FY June 2019, and an increased dividend. Furthermore, the occupancy rate stands at 97.2%, and 95% of expiring Gross Lettable Area has been renewed or replaced.

Against a mixed backdrop, with headwinds from EUR/USD translation effect and some weakness in the African retail sector, this performance fully delivers on the expectations set out at the time of the London listing in August 2018.

The company states that it has an identified pipeline of investment opportunities totalling US$600m, from existing tenants and other multi-nationals operating in Africa. This pipeline compares with an existing portfolio of US$796m (December 2018), i.e. a near doubling of the asset base.


The statement indicates that the company will consider options for financing these investments, in the short and medium term.

The company has also outlined initiatives to drive incremental returns on investment, which could enable the company to exceed its 12% TSR target in future years, in our view. Measures include: 1) Participating in risk-limited development opportunities, as a route to enhancing NAV growth without impacting the dividend. 2)Opportunities to provide Asset Management services internally and to external property owners, to drive fee generation and to reduce the group's operating cost ratios.

GRIT offers a 9.2% dividend yield, and the prospect of good ongoing NAV growth. We believe that the FY June 2019 performance also demonstrates the robustness of GRIT's business model.

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Grit Real Estate Income Group Timeline

CN Research
June 27 2019

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June 11 2019

Primary Health Properties (LON:PHP) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that holds a portfolio of 484 primary health facilities in the UK (94% of the portfolio) and Ireland (6%). The business model is to manage the properties for rental income and to grow the portfolio over time. The asset base has some attractive characteristics for yield-focused investors:

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This stable rental income base has allowed PHP to pay a steadily growing dividend, with increases every year since listing in 1997.

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We also examine PHP relative to sector peers on other characteristics such as lease terms and rental escalations.

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April 30 2019

Custodian REIT (LON:CREI) released its quarterly net asset value (NAV) update on April 30. The release shows a NAV of £426.6mln, unchanged versus December 2018, and NAV total return per share (definition in the release) of 5.9%. Occupancy remains high at 95.9%.

The property portfolio valuation is down by £5mln during the quarter at £527.7mln. This is due to a reduction in the valuation of the high street retail portfolio, which we believe is not a surprise to the market. We note that high street retail now comprises 12% of the overall portfolio weighted by income.

The release describes a subdued environment for investment activity in the UK non-residential property market, due to political uncertainties, but continued resilient economic activity supporting leasings, particularly in the Industrial market (38% of portfolio) and regional offices (11%).

Custodian has announced a target dividend of 6.65p for FY March 2020e, continuing a run of dividend increases since listing in 2014. Custodian now offers a 5.8% dividend yield for FY Mar 2019, versus 3.4% for the sector, as benchmarked by the iShares UK Commercial Property ETF (LON:IUKP).

We consider Custodian's dividend to be well supported by a number of factors:

  • Dividend fully covered by net rental earnings
  • Low balance sheet gearing
  • Low portfolio concentration, with no tenant comprising more than 3.5% of rental income

We consider some of these metrics in more detail on p2.

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March 06 2019

GRIT Real Estate Income Group (LON:GR1T) is a pan-African (excluding South Africa) real estate company, generating high levels of US dollar and euro-denominated rental yield underpinned by a blue-chip tenant base.

The company has achieved good progress since its London Stock Exchange (LSE) listing in July 2018. Results for the half-year ended 31 December (released 14 February) showed gross rental income +25.9% year-on-year and group loan-to-value down to 43.4% (full-year to June 2018: 51.4%). Furthermore, the ratio of administration costs to asset value was reduced to 1.3% from 1.4%. We believe this can go below 1% as the portfolio continues to grow.

Performance has been achieved in spite of pockets of significant weakness in the African retail sector, highlighting the value of GRIT's diversification strategy. We provide some outlines of the strategy on page 2 (p2).

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