Mashonaland Holdings attracts investors

PROPERTY Holdings and management company Mashonaland Holdings has received a number of investors both within and outside Zimbabwe who have expressed interest in the sector, CEO Manfred Mahari told shareholders recently.

Staff Writer

At an AGM, Mahari said there was huge growth potential in the property sector and discussions with investors were already underway.
Briefing shareholders on the company’s operations, Mahari said planned developments were progressing and were at different stages of municipal approval.

“A small office park of about 4 000 square metres in Natal Road (Avondale) is awaiting approval of construction drawings by the City Council,” he said.

Civil works for the company’s Westgate residential development would begin this year, as well as works at Hazeldene, a Borrowdale residential development, he added.

In terms of the existing properties under the company’s management, refurbishment of elevators was currently underway at ZB Centre in Harare’s CBD and two completed lifts would be handed over this financial year.

Refurbishment at Chiyedza House, also in Harare’s CBD, was expected to commence shortly.

In terms of performance, Mash Holdings’ revenue in the four months to January was up 12% from last year and 2% ahead of budget. Mahari said operating profit grew 10% from the comparable period a year ago to US$1,7 million and this was 11% ahead of budget. The margin was flat at 64%. Total expenses were at US$900 000, an increase of 16% from last year but were 10% below budget.

The monthly average rent roll rose 12% to US$645 000 for January from US$577 000 in the same period last year, which Mahari said was in line with the forecast decline in rental growth.

Vacancies rose to 11% from 9%, while at US$84 000, arrears represented an annualised position of 11%. Collections were between 66-80%.

Mash Holdings’ average rentals per square metre stood at US$8-US$13 for offices against US$15 a square metre in the region. Retail was at US$7-US$12 a square metre against US$40 per square metre in the region. Industrial rentals were at US$1,50-US$4 a square metre in line with the region’s US$4 a square metre.

Mahari said Mash Holdings’s rental yield was at 8,6% against the region’s 12%.

In terms of cashflows, Mahari said the group held US$4,5 million in cash.

At the AGM, shareholders also approved an extension of the group’s share buyback scheme. In the period, 4,7 million shares were bought at an average price of 2,45 US cents, bringing total shares held for treasury to 159,4 million with a market value of US$4 million.