RDC banks on Masa Centre for growth

Masa Centre
Masa Centre

The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed property company, RDC Properties is confident that the effect of the upmarket Masa Centre and new developments will underpin the growth of the group in the next few years.

According to the group’s executive chairman Guido Giachetti, Masa Centre continues to perform well and the revenue has increased by 12 percent to P18.4 million in the first six months of the year compared to P16.5 million in 2014.

“This is due to rental escalations, the growth of the Lansmore Masa Square Hotel turnover rental and reduced vacancies at the Centre,” he said.

Giachetti said in 2016, they would open doors to the new Masa Suites as the project has now received all the authorities’ approvals and work has already started.

Last year, Lansmore and RDC struck a deal to convert some of the vacant space in the centre into luxurious hotel suites.

“We are also pleased to report that vacancies over the whole portfolio have decreased from 5.22 percent as at December 2014, to 3.67 percent as at June 2015. Masa Centre contributes 47 percent of the vacancies as compared to 69 percent in December 2014,” he said. The group’s unaudited financial results for the half-year ended 30 June 2015 show that revenue increased by four percent to P39.6 million, when compared to last year’s P38 million.

Profit from operations increased by six percent to P27.5 million from P26.8 million in 2014.

Profit before tax increased by 19 percent to P18.5 million when compared to P15.7 million in 2014. Finance costs this year decreased to P9 million from P11.2 million in 2014, due to the group repaying its loans as well as the reduction in the prime interest rates and the renegotiation of the interest rates on long-term promissory notes in the second half of 2014.

The group’s investment and property portfolio increased by 11 percent to P963.2 million from P868.8 million in 2014.

Meanwhile, the executive chairman stated that the Gaborone West warehouse project would be completed in September 2015 and within budget.

Giachetti said the ICC Flats acquisition was approved in May 2015 and that all the designs for the proposed construction of 45 apartments have been completed and council approvals obtained.

“Construction will commence once funding is in place and the negotiations for the construction is completed,” he said.

Giachetti added that the group continues to seek regional expansion opportunities and that it is currently considering development projects in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique.

“We are pleased to report that a memorandum of understanding has been concluded with the owners of (a) prime land in the CBD of Cape Town. Consultants have been appointed and the project will consists of a 3/4 star hotel development with more than 180 rooms and conference facilities,” he said.

Giachetti noted that the recent IPD Botswana Annual Property Index 2014 report shows a decline in the Botswana property market total ungeared return from 21.5 percent in 2013, to 11.5 percent in 2014. He added that they are pleased that the company’s return for the same period stood at 15.5 percent.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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