RDC Blames Covid for 14% Rental Revenue Drop

Guido Giachetti
Guido Giachetti

The COVID-19 headwinds have been felt across a number of Botswana Stock Exchange stocks as many listed companies have a story to tell on how they have been impacted by the pandemic.

As the reporting period gets underway, a number of listed entities are reporting how coronavirus have affected their top and bottom lines one way or the other.

Last week, RDC Properties said its rental revenue has gone down by 13.7% to P131.6 million of which 55% was receipted in Botswana while 45% in South Africa. According to the group’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020, the decrease was due to a combination of the impact of the COVID-19 on the hospitality business where revenue decreased by P28.4 million and the rental deferment /rebate packages with commercial/retail tenants.

RDC managing director, Guido Giachetti said the decrease in revenue was a combination of the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality business where revenue decreased by P28.4 million and the rental deferment / rebate packages agreed with commercial/retail tenants.

“This was partially offset by lower lending rates and the new acquisition’s strong cash flow notably in Capitalgro which resulted in a P6.8 million increase. Finance costs are on aggregate higher by P9.6 million due to costs to fund the Radisson RED project,” he said.

Giachetti added that hard lockdown impacted mainly on the tourism/recreational sector within the portfolio. However, the impact has been mitigated differently by country as South Africa has been less affected than Botswana.

“Our exposure to small retail/commercial units is limited so the impact has mainly been on hospitality. Cash flows have been tested and the group has demonstrated its strong balance sheet and managed to retain its strength,” he said.

Meanwhile, the MD said their long term objective remains focused on accumulating and developing a quality portfolio of unique properties, with potential for rental and capital growth and with a regional focus and diversifying income stream.

The four main areas of strategy include selective acquiring and developing regional portfolio in Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa. They will also focus on seeking out real diversification of the portfolio by the region, sector and currency.

“We are actively seeking to balance our portfolio growth between acquisition and development to strike balance between patient capital and income generation as well as accelerate yield accretive acquisitions, the positive impact of which will be felt in the years to come,” Giachetti added.

The group’s portfolio revenue contributions was led by office with 53%, followed by retail by 18%, then hospitality with 17%, residential with seven percent and industrial with five percent.

Editor's Comment
Seamless Business Environment Needed Post-COVID

The country was also classified as the least corrupt in the world with strong anti-graft checks and balances. With these assurances, investors were guaranteed safety on their investments and returns. That is no longer the case. Several countries like Namibia, South Africa and Mauritius have done well over the years and overtaken Botswana as attractive places to do business.Therefore, when countries that Botswana is competing with for a piece of...

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