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Jooste: Oryx assets must adapt to evolving retail environment

2021-09-14  Edgar Brandt

Jooste: Oryx assets must adapt to evolving retail environment

One of the biggest property companies in Namibia, Oryx Properties, on Friday confirmed the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge it has faced since its establishment in 2001. 

Oryx Properties, which is a balanced fund involved in shopping centres, office parks, industrial hospitality, residential properties and overseas investments, granted some N$50 million in rent relief to its tenants at major entities such as Maerua Mall, Gustav Voigts, Baines Shopping Centre and Elisenheim. This, said CEO Ben Jooste, was done to urge consumers to continue supporting local tenants and retail centres.

Speaking to New Era on the sidelines of its new logo launch on Friday, Jooste said the company’s short-term strategy is to continue investing in Namibia and to keep on growing the company’s asset base. 

“We will continue to invest in projects that produce reliable and predictable returns for our unit holders,” said Jooste, adding that “Oryx’s assets will need to adapt to an evolving retail environment”. 

Listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX), Oryx’s real estate portfolio comprises 28 retail, industrial, office and residential properties. 

The group also has offshore exposure through investment in Tower Property Fund, a South African Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), and a 26% investment in TPF International Limited (TIL) with an underlying Croatian portfolio valued at €82.2 million.

On Friday, 10 September, Oryx unveiled their new logo and enhanced brand. Jooste explained that while the current logo had served the group well for the past 19 years, it was time for something new. 

“Over the past two years, it has become very clear that as a company, we have to adapt with our tenants to cater for modern needs, adapt for our staff to ensure they remain healthy and motivated, adapt and upgrade our assets quicker to cater for the latest market and consumer trends, and adapt our overall thinking and the way we do business to build a sustainable, profitable business,” said Jooste.  

The Oryx CEO added the new look and brand needed to stand the test of time going forward, thereby ensuring it is modern, able to connect to a new generation of consumers, tenants and investors, whilst still resonating with loyal customers and unit holders. 

“Times are changing and have changed tremendously in the last 18 months, and we need to change with these times to ensure the business not only survives but also thrives,” Jooste stated.  

The group’s new logo retains the Oryx as the animal, still symbolising what the brand stands for: adaptability, toughness, embracing of change and showing resilience and endurance. However, enhancements have been made to the overall brand, thereby modernising the overall look and feel and updating the corporate identity. 

“We are excited about our fresh, new, modern look and know this will take us forward into a bright future, where the investments and optimisation within the company and portfolio will hopefully lead to the creation of new jobs and further investments,” said Jooste. 

Oryx Properties was listed on the NSX in 2002 and will celebrate 20 years of operations in 2022. 

The group has diversified over the years, which assisted in mitigating various economic downturns during the multi-year recession and Covid-19 over the past year. For the year-ended 30 June 2021, Oryx Properties has a market capitalisation of over N$1 billion and a property portfolio of more than N$2.8 billion. 

 “We will continue to manage our expenses well, optimise our existing portfolio, and make yield-enhancing decisions on predictable outcomes so that we can deliver sustainable returns to our unitholders, whilst nurturing our proud Namibian heritage,” said Jooste. 

2021-09-14  Edgar Brandt

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