Property Flash


February 28 2024

Nepi Rockcastle, which owns a €6.9bn (R140bn) portfolio of shopping centres in the central and eastern Europe (CEE) region, said that it booked record earnings in the year to end-December 2023.

The group has recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic and consumer confidence has climbed in countries such as Poland and Romania. Poland has also seen a liberal government return to power. The government led by prime minister, Donald Tusk, was sworn in in December. It has promised to launch a programme to reverse the damage done to rule of law in the country during eight years of government by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Nepi Rockcastle reported that its distributable earnings rose 9.3% to almost 57 euro cents to end-December. Its distribution was €332m, or about 51.3-euro cents, based on a 90% payout ratio. As a real estate investment trust (Reit) listed, Nepi Rockcastle is required to pay out at least 75% of its distributable income as a dividend.

Nepi Rockcastle’s market capitalisation of more R88bn on the JSE is up 5% year-to-date.

Nepi owns malls in nine countries: Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Czechia, Serbia, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia.

Tenant turnover increased 12.6%, excluding hypermarkets, and there were more than 337-million visits to its shopping centres in 2023, a 14.2% increase.

“Inflation protection through the indexation clauses embedded in our lease agreements has served Nepi Rockcastle well during the high inflationary environment in CEE over the past two years,” CEO Rüdiger Dany said.

Distributable earnings per share for 2024 were expected to be approximately 4% higher in 2024, with no change in the company’s current 90% dividend payout ratio.

Nepi Rockcastle was formerly a part of the Resilient stable. Nepi merged with Rockcastle prior to the pandemic.

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