25 Nov 2009

National Property Trust distributable profit rises

9:27 pm on 25 November 2009

The listed landlord National Property Trust has increased its distributable half year profit by 1.5%, despite selling assets within its property portfolio.

Distributable profit increased to $4.85 million in the six months to September, even though the company faced higher costs on its recently extended banking facility, and a smaller property portfolio.

As part of its capital management strategy to reduce debt and rebalance its portfolio, National Property Trust sold retail properties in Auckland, including the Rialto Centre and Carlton DFK Tower, and properties in Tauranga.

Sale proceeds of about $62 million have reduced its term loan, which now has a conservative gearing ratio of 22.5%, the company says.

Once $4.4 million of unrealised losses in property valuations, and a similar loss from sales of investment properties are taken into account, National Property Trust lost of $9.1 million.

In the same period a year ago, it lost $9.3 million.

General manager John Crone says the result is satisfactory given the current economic climate.

Mr Crone says property values appear to have stabilised over the last six months, and while the office rental market will be under pressure over the next 12 to 18 months, he believes the trust can continue to deliver further rental growth.