30 Jul 2009

Trust to sell Auckland, Tauranga properties

6:11 am on 30 July 2009

Listed landlord National Property Trust hopes to complete the sale of two properties as it tries to lower debt and retain tenants across its portfolio.

The Trust has cut its debt ratio from 55% to about 36% and says the sales of the Rialto Centre in Auckland's Newmarket, and the Goddard's building in Tauranga could raise more than $60 million.

National Property Trust last year faced angry unit-holders, some of whom called for its assets to be liquidated in the face of high debt and declining returns and unit prices.

Kevin Podmore, who chairs the trust's management company, says the two possible sales would help the balance sheet, but are not crucial.

Mr Podmore says the risk in the coming year is for a further weakening of property values. National Property Trust is already forecasting a lower distribution to unit-holders, he says.