Oryx Properties’ revenue increased to N$335 million in the financial year ended June 2020, recording a substantial increase from N$325.9 million recorded in 2019.
In addition, the company’s Elisenheim income and net property income increased to N$229 million from N$224.5 million recorded in 2019, even amidst some Covid-19 rental relief provided to clients in 2020.
Meanwhile, Oryx diversified its property portfolio by investing in a residential portfolio acquired at a discount, which is one of the few asset classes to deliver growth. Moreover, phase one of the Elisenheim project was completed, handed over, and occupied in the first half of the year.
A recently released integrated annual report for 2020 indicated a mixture of successes and several unprecedented challenges for Oryx. The report showed that Namibia’s prevailing negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth and the Covid-19 pandemic jointly contributed to sharp economic declines which significantly impacted the property market.
Despite these challenges, 2020 delivered several highlights for Oryx, which in the long term is expected to contribute to the sustainability, success and value creation of the group.
“The committee approved N$17.5 million for tenants’ support in the form of rent relief or related initiatives between April and June 2020,” said Oryx chairman Peter Kazmaier.
The group further stated that they are on track for good income growth, reducing its internal budget deficit from earlier in the year, keeping vacancies low, and managing expenses well.
“The Covid-19 pandemic became a reality towards the end of the third quarter and we had to adapt and manage as best as we could its impact on Oryx. We acted decisively to ensure that our properties are providing a safe environment for our tenants and consumers. In the time that tenants needed it most, we provided essential rental relief to qualifying tenants to protect jobs and livelihoods,” reads the report.
However, the company cautioned that pressure remains on both Oryx and its tenants’ businesses due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. During these uncertain times Oryx said it became difficult to raise further capital, making decisions to protect its cash flow paramount.
Furthermore, the group acquired three residential complexes, increasing sectoral spread to include residential.
“We are of the view that at the time we read the market well and secured these investments at a favourable price, both from a yield and comparative sales valuation perspective.”
Moreover, in diversifying from local assets, the 26% investment in Tower International (TIL) provides the group with exposure to foreign currency earnings and markets, reducing the dependency on local assets exposed mainly to the domestic economy.
The investment showed resilience during the pandemic which is evident in the portfolio’s quality. The investment yielded a return of 7.3% for its financial year ended May 2020, while in 2019 it yielded 8.2%.
Income from associates amounted to N$23 million for the year which includes N$4 million relating to fair value adjustment of investment property. During the year under review Oryx received N$14 million in dividends.