A refined focus on industrial property is paying off for Property for Industry, lifting annual profit 60 per cent in the first year of a refreshed strategy.
The property investor reported a net profit of $176.3 million in calendar 2019, up from $110.1 million in 2018. Net rental income rose 5.4 per cent to $83.3 million.
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The value of PFI's portfolio rose from $1.32 billion to $1.48 billion. The company has 94 properties, of which 84 per cent are in Auckland and 90 per cent are industrial. That's up from the prior year when 87.3 per cent of its properties were industrial and in line with its strategy to focus on industrial properties.
The company signed deals to sell $40 million of property during the year, which included the $33 million sale of a mixed-use site in Albany.
PFI committed $106.4 million to four Auckland industrial property acquisitions, while at the same time it's still upgrading existing properties. It's committed $21 million to upgrade four projects, having spent $14.6 million on adding value to its properties in 2019.
"In 2020 we will continue on our pathway to becoming a pure-play industrial listed property vehicle. In order to achieve that goal, we will remain focused on our core asset management and value-add strategies within our portfolio," chief executive Simon Woodhams said.
The real estate investor's passing yield decreased from 6.21 per cent to 5.75 per cent, and CBRE estimated prime and secondary industrial yields are respectively 4.96 per cent and 5.83 per cent.
The shares were unchanged at $2.46, and have increased by 33.2 per cent during the past year.
The board declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 2.15 cents per share, payable on March 4 to shareholders registered at Feb. 24. This takes the annual dividend to 7.6 cents per share, up from last year's 7.55 cents per share.
Adjusted funds from operations, which are used to set the dividend, rose to $38.8 million from $37.2 million a year earlier.
"We believe the year ahead is likely to exhibit similar volatile characteristics to the last 12 months, and while all sectors are cyclical, we anticipate no immediate or significant change to current market conditions," Woodhams said.