Stride Property Group posts gain in first half earnings

Stride Property Group chief executive Peter Alexander
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Stride Property Group, which manages 71 properties worth $2 billion, posted a 21% gain in first-half earnings after restructuring its business.

Distributable profit, the favoured measure of property investors as it strips out unrealised movements in the value of their portfolio, rose to $18.7 million, or 5.12c a share, in the six months ended September 30, from $15.4 million, or 5.19c, a year earlier.

Net rental income rose 25% to $35.1 million, while management fee income more than doubled to $2.3 million from $900,000. Corporate expenses jumped to $9.2 million from $3.7 million, including $3.1 million of one-time property costs.

Stride has undergone a restructuring of its business in a bid to expand its real estate management operation.

The company split off its large format retail assets into a new company, Investore, which it continues to manage and hold a fifth of, divested $69 million of other properties to help fund the NorthWest Shopping Centre development in Auckland, stage two of which opened last month, while the Diversified NZ Property Trust, which is managed by Stride, bought two Westfield malls.

"Stride Property Group now has varied sources of income derived from rental, potential capital growth and management fees that, together, provide a platform for earnings growth," chairman Tim Storey and chief executive Peter Alexander say.

"This, combined with an on-going programme of strategic acquisitions across the group will, we believe, deliver sector-leading returns for the medium to long term."

The group will pay a total dividend of 2.41c per share on December 16. It's targeting a total annual dividend of 9.96c for 2017, and 9.91c for 2018.

Its shares, which were restructured in July, rose 0.6% to $1.82.


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