Rebosis’ Baywest Mall celebrates robust growth

Rebosis’ Baywest Mall celebrates robust growth

Following our report last month on Rebosis Property Fund’s steady and consistent performance across its property portfolio, Shopping & Retail SA brings you a more in-depth report on the company’s Baywest Mall, whose strong performance indicates strong consumer appetite for larger shopping centres

As the Eastern Cape’s largest shopping and entertainment centre, Baywest Mall, marks its second birthday this month, its performance for owners Rebosis Property Fund suggests consumer appetites for super-regional malls are far from waning.

According to Rebosis Property Fund group marketing manager Deborah Bailey, the flagship mall for South Africa’s largest black-owned, listed property fund is living up to its tagline, “the pulse of the Bay”.

Growth indicators for the mall include:
• Consistent foot traffic year-on-year (seven million visitors in 2016)
• Total sales growth year-on-year over a comparable period of 16.0%
• Mall trading density (sales per m²) growth of 14.3% year-on-year over a comparable period, and
• Spend per head growth of 21% year-on-year over a comparable period

“Our data shows Baywest has been embraced by the region, with almost seven million visitors through our doors in 2016,” said Bailey, adding that the super-regional mall attracted not only residents of Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch), but also brought out-of-towners into the city from as far afield as Plettenberg Bay and Grahamstown.

“These out-of-town shoppers would previously have visited the city intermittently, but now the mall provides a unique shopping and entertainment destination to warrant them travelling more frequently. Furthermore, once these visitors arrive in the Bay, they don’t just stop in at the mall but also conduct business elsewhere in the city, meaning that other businesses benefit from our presence,” said Bailey.

“On the whole, with a 91% occupancy rate by gross leasable area (GLA) – up from the 85% when we opened in 2015 – Baywest Mall is in a healthy state given the fact that it is just two years old and part of a larger precinct which is still in its developmental stage, and especially given the challenging macro-economic environment.”

During its two-year construction phase, the 90,000m² mall created employment for over 5 000 mostly local construction industry workers. Since opening on May 21, 2015, a further 2 000 permanent jobs have been created to staff the mall’s 250 outlets.

“Baywest creates direct employment for up to 2 000 Bay residents. This excludes the downstream economic benefits which the mall provides for the many service providers working with our tenants,” continued Bailey.

Baywest Mall general manager Troy Zunckel said the shopping centre has brought a variety of exciting new brands to the Nelson Mandela Bay region, covering entertainment, dining and retail.

“Such a shopping and entertainment experience was previously only accessible to Bay residents when they travelled to cities like Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.”

Speaking on the filling of the mall’s vacant stands, he said: “We have strategic vacancies to let and we are constantly in discussions with key brands around those vacancies. It is important that we create the right tenant mix of local, regional and national brands which complement all our stores. If we relax our standards and fill our available space with tenants that do not fit our strategic mix, it would harm our existing tenants rather than complementing them.”

With regard to the coexistence of the mall in relation to other centres in the region, Zunckel said: “We believe Baywest is fulfilling its role as a super-regional mall by supplementing – not cannibalising – trade at smaller shopping centres.”

Baywest had brought “fantastic new brands to the region, and created major employment opportunities”, he added.

“It has created a one-stop destination for leisure activities that were previously unavailable to local residents – such as an Olympic-size ice rink and the region’s only Ster-Kinekor IMAX and Cine Prestige movie theatres.”

Baywest leads Rebosis’ strong retail performance

Baywest Mall, Port Elizabeth

Baywest leads Rebosis’ strong retail performance

In April Rebosis Property Fund reported a net property income growth of 74,6% for the six months ended 28 February 2017. A JSE listed Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Rebosis’ strategy is directed toward dominant retail malls.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Andile Mazwai, said: “We saw strong retail performance despite a depressed retail sales environment. This performance was largely led by Baywest Mall, which held the highest trading density growth at 11.6%, and Bloed Street Mall. Alongside this performance we reduced our retail vacancies to 1.5% in the reporting period.”

Rebosis’ South African retail portfolio makes up 62% of its South African assets and consists of six high-quality, dominant shopping malls with strong anchor national tenants delivering income streams escalating at 7,4%.

Expanding on this solid performance, Rebosis plans to embark on extensions to its Mdantsane Mall in Pretoria, as well as implement a R55 million upgrade to Hemingways Mall in East London.

Forest Hill City, Pretoria

Rebosis concluded the watershed R5 billion Baywest Mall (Port Elizabeth) and Forest Hill City (Pretoria) acquisition during the reporting period and at the same time internalised its asset and property management entities. This gave rise to the increase in market cap growth and share price appreciation and saw the fund achieve its stated objective of becoming a retail-focused fund with an internalised management function.

Rebosis’ Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ngebulana

Rebosis’ Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ngebulana, said, “We achieved exciting growth in both total assets and income during the 6-month period under review. We were also able to hedge 100% of our debt and extend debt maturity profiles in order to mitigate potential risks that arise as a result of a market downgrade and low economic growth. To have achieved a 38% increase (74.6% including new mall acquisitions) in net property income while reducing our overall vacancies to 2.4% bears testament to our defensive office-sovereign underpin and the dominant retail strength in the portfolio, which we believe will continue to perform well in a sluggish economic environment.”

The retail portfolio delivered a strong 6% trading density growth and the fund’s remaining industrial property is presently under offer and is being held for disposal.

Further detail of Rebosis performance reveals that total distributable income increased 32,7% to R389 million from R293 million over the period. Following various acquisitions during the period, assets under management rose a significant 51% to R17,9 billion from R11,8 billion.

A dividend of 60,08 cents per share has been declared for the six month period. This amounts to 7,07% dividend growth year-on-year, which is in line with the 7% to 9% guidance expected for the financial year.

Rebosis also concluded the acquisition of Ascension Properties which led to the listing of the Rebosis-A shares at a market capitalisation of R1.6bn (thus giving Rebosis a combined market capitalised value of R9.8bn). The Rebosis A-shares were listed on the JSE on the 19th of April 2017.

The completion of this acquisition consolidates Ascension Properties under Rebosis’ direct properties and has bolstered the Rebosis asset portfolio by a further R17.9 to R21.3bn.
The combined SA properties now constitute 8 retail shopping malls, 42 office buildings and two industrial properties.

The commercial properties are located in nodes attractive to government tenants and are mainly single-tenanted buildings let to the National Department of Public Works, providing for average escalations of 8,2%.

The dividend growth in the period is in line with the Rebosis Board’s view that the dividend per share will grow by between 7% and 9% for the full year to 31 August 2017, provided there are no unexpected or drastic deteriorations in the South African economy.
This forecast outlook is issued by the Board, and has not been reviewed or reported on by the company’s auditors.

Rebosis also holds 67,5% in New Frontier Properties which owns the dominant shopping centres in the English towns of Blackpool, Middleborough and Burton-on-Trent.

Hemingways Mall, East London

 

Property management software to suit every need

Property management software to suit every need

In today’s tough economic climate efficient management and streamlining of the administration of properties and tenants is crucial. Automated software tools and processes designed to exactly that are not only a a prerequisite for efficiency, but simultaneously save property owners both time and costs.

When selecting a property management software vendor, it is also crucial to ensure that a high level of dedicated support is available and effective locally to ensure ongoing smooth and efficient operation.

Such a vendor is PropSys Property Management Software Solutions, a Johannesburg based company offering property software solutions for real estate agents, property management companies and property owners. “Our software enables you to efficiently manage invoicing, receipting, payments, reports, electronic communication and more – all from a single interface,” says Marius Vermeulen, CEO of PropSys. “In addition, our clients receive dedicated and unrivalled support from our consultants through personalised online and telephonic assistance.”

PropSys provides three specialised property software solutions, catering for a wide range of needs:

Nikita: A compact solution for a smaller property portfolio. This is a concise, effective and affordable system for managing small to medium property portfolios, catering to both property owners and agents. The functionality covers all aspects of leasing and includes a direct interface into the Pastel Accounting package for the financial management of the portfolio. It also provides sophisticated email/SMS functionality for improved communications between property manager and tenants.

The software is licensed for a single user or multiple users on a Local Area Network, and is compatible with Windows 7 and Vista. Detailed help and ‘How To’ manuals are available in the application.
The Nicor client: this is PropSys’ flagship and top-of-the-range offering for large corporations with extensive property portfolios.

This software solution comprises integrated property management (PropPro) together with financial management functionality (FinPro). The core system also houses a Workflow Engine for process control.

Features include: real time updating of data to other applicable parts of the system; full system security including password protected login codes; data audit logging for a full history of changes; online help for every screen and on-screen tool tips for input fields.
The Workflow Engine provides business procedure flow and control, with the user defining a sequence of steps (workflow) that needs to be followed, including authorisation requirements, notifications and before/after actions for each step.

The Dashboard feature keeps the indicators and controls visible on the desktop to highlight trends and fluctuations for monitoring arrears, receipting, vacancies and so on.
Alerts generate Microsoft Outlook tasks based on user defined triggers while the Scheduler can be used to set up automated reports and processes at a specified time
Improve access control software integration for managing tenant access to buildings with a tag system or biometrics.

PropAcc: is a comprehensive property management suite built on a SQL database with full accounting functionality, facilities management, integrated banking, report writers and online document viewing, among a variety of other features.

PropAcc encompasses full management of the following functions bulk procedures: electronic funds transfers; debit orders; scheduled payments; bulk meter readings via hand-held devices; future invoicing; interest calculation on arrears; bank charges recovery; auto monthly account invoicing and creditor payments.

The system also incorporates:
PropFMS, a facilities management system for a comprehensive call centre;
PropCom, an email-based post office together with an SMS communication and billing system;
PropCloud, which hosts PropAcc as a cloud-based solution; and
PropWeb, a web interface for the entire PropAcc system. PropWeb is can be customised for property owners, trustees and debtors to view and update their details, statements and other relevant information. The system includes a payment portal and provides clients with secure 24/7 access to accounting information on creditor and debtor level without needing to contact the managing agent. In addition, a new website can be created for the property owner or the functionality can be added to their current website. Here trust creditors (body corporate or landlord) are able to view debtor statement history and submit queries by email to the PropSys client as well as viewing and downloading the following documents in PDF format: