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Liberty Two Degrees see continued positive momentum
01 August 2022

Reporting interim results for the six months to 30 June 2022 amid the impact of the current local economic backdrop, Amelia Beattie, Chief Executive of Liberty Two Degrees (L2D), the precinct focused retail centred REIT, says the company is encouraged by its financial and operational metrics, which have shown continued positive momentum in the recovery of its property portfolio, with the retail assets driven by quality tenancies, providing the biggest share of the uplift. This has been supported by an encouraging recovery in the hospitality assets that are starting to show increased levels of activity. The positive momentum has been supported by the lifting of the National State of Disaster and the removal of the remaining Covid-19 regulations which contributed to a return in both retail and consumer confidence, boding well for our portfolio in the first half of the year.

Commenting on this, Beattie adds "Our operational metrics have shown a steady recovery in the first half of 2022 with a 16.1% improvement in turnover growth compared to 2019. Q1 achieved 13.6% in turnover on Q1 2019 and is tracking 25.4% ahead of Stats SA's industry benchmark of 1.9% year-on-year for Q1 2021. Trading gained momentum as the year progressed, with turnover in Q2 up 18.4% on Q2 2019".

"Our customer experience initiatives continue to pay off as the portfolio records the highest footcount in the first six months of 2022 compared to the prior three comparative years. The L2D portfolio consistently experiences double digit growth in footcount, having not dropped below 10% this year. This encouraging start to the year contributed to better occupancy rates and good leasing activity in the period, indicating the strong demand for L2D retail space where 179 leases (renewals and new deals) were concluded in the first half of 2022, equating to 46,992m². On the back of this solid performance, we are pleased to report that the L2D Board has declared a full interim distribution pay-out of 17.48 cents per share for the first six months, a double digit increase of 11% over the prior year interim distribution reinforced by a strong balance sheet" says Beattie.

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