Listed industrial specialist Goodman Property Trust pushed up revenue 10.7 per cent to make $171 million but less spectacular revaluation gains pushed net profit after tax down 18 per cent from $319.5m to $261m.
The business has just reported its annual result for the year to March 31, 2020.
Goodman made a statutory profit of $284.4m before tax, including investment property valuation gains of $165.8m, compared to the previous year's $334.8m when investment property valuation gains were far higher at $201.9m.
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Keith Smith, chairman, said: "While the economic outlook has deteriorated rapidly over the last three months as a result of Covid-19, the quality of the trust's $3.1b portfolio, its focus on the industrial sector and low level of gearing will enable it to respond to future challenges and opportunities."
The trust said today its investment strategy had been refined in recent years to meet the increased demand for warehouse and distribution space across Auckland. That area had been New Zealand's best performing commercial real estate sector, it said.
Chief executive John Dakin said the business was responding to the disruption caused by the pandemic, adapting its approach to ensure stable cashflows and a strong financial position a
The trust had helped vulnerable tenants with rent support, "balancing the needs of these businesses with our obligations to investors", Dakin said.
It has also stopped some new development projects until a tenant commitment was secured.
Goodman's current development programme is 33,790 sqm at seven projects at Highbrook, Savill Link, Westney and M20 business parks.
"Two previously announced build-to-lease or speculative developments have been paused prior to construction commencement with minimal spend," it said.
"While customer demand is likely to be lower, a significant number of new projects are still anticipated this year," Dakin said.
On its forecast for the 2021 year, the business said today the operating environment had deteriorated and the immediate outlook was uncertain,
But it cited the important role industrial property played in the supply chain, "providing the physical infrastructure that allows goods and materials to be stored and distributed quickly and efficiently has been clearly demonstrated in the consumer response to Covid-19".
It also said how good capital management had provided it with "substantial financial flexibility and liquidity, providing resilience and the ability to take advantage of acquisitions and/or development opportunities in line with strategy. Based on the current economic outlook and our expectations of its portfolio impact, cash earnings are expected to be materially consistent with FY20 at around 6.2 cents per unit," Goodman said today.
That is a drop on the past two years: the trust paid investors 6.65 cents per unit in the 2020 years, the same as in 2019.
The listed unit trust has 11 New Zealand properties valued at $3.1b and rented to 185 tenants.
Those include the business park Highbrook in East Tamaki, The Gate industry park in Onehunga, Roma Road estate in Mt Roskill and the M20 business estate at Wiri.
Goodman is an externally managed trust ranked in the top 20 of all listed investment vehicles. Its manager is a subsidiary of the ASX-listed Goodman Group which is also the trust's largest investor with a cornerstone 21 per cent stake.
The trust has an investment-grade credit rating of BBB from Standard & Poor's.
Units are today trading around $2.20, down from $2.43 in March but it has suffered a less pronounced price slide than many other property stocks.