As one of the few in the sector to be paying 100% of its distributions, Exemplar’s balance sheet remains strong – boasting a gearing ratio of 38.5%, a corporate interest rate cover ratio of 3.57 times and R292 million in undrawn facilities. The period saw R32,2 million granted to tenants in rental relief credits and an 83.4% tenant retention rate, with vacancies at a respectable 5.3%.
While the challenges of FY2021 cannot be denied, the defensive nature of the Exemplar portfolio (valued at R6,541 billion) and a dynamic management team have ensured that it remains a top performer in the property sector.
Further highlights for the Company include a 0.41% increase in portfolio fair value and the acquisition of the biggest asset in the portfolio to date – the Mall of Thembisa in Gauteng. The acquisition speaks to the strength and agility of the Company in a time when the country was, and still is, facing the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and feeling its impact on the South African economy.
Exemplar CEO, Jason McCormick, credits the strength of the REIT in the most difficult periods of recent history, to the strong foundation on which it was built.
“Our core market has always been on essential retail. As landlords in the niche sector of rural and township retail, over 50% of our tenant base is considered essential services and were thus able to trade when the rest of the industry could not. This factor alone is not what ensured our buoyancy – the strength and agility of our team members, the in-depth knowledge we have of our market and the trust that our communities bestow on our centres all contributed to the overall robust nature of our results.”
Exemplar follows a hands-on approach to asset management and is confident that it will continue to deliver long term growth for its shareholders.
“With a solid portfolio of defensive assets, a strong pipeline of acquisition opportunities and an incredible team managing them, we expect the portfolio to continue to grow from strength to strength in the years to come,” concludes Jason.
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