Stor-Age Property REIT, which operates the Stor-Age Self Storage brand in South Africa, has released its first interim earnings report since becoming the first self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange last year. The report covers the six-month period of its fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2016. The company reported property revenue of R78.5 million and an operating profit of R56.2 million.
Rental income from its 24 owned properties was R75.6 million during the period. Occupancy was 86 percent across the portfolio, with the average rental rate growing 10 percent year over year to R79.9 per square meter. Stor-Age also earns property and asset-management fees from 10 other storage facilities on which it has pre-emptive right of acquisition.
In September, the REIT opened a new “flagship” facility in Sunninghill, its first property in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. The project is part of an ongoing R500 million development pipeline. “The new R85 million state-of-the-art self-storage property marks the next phase of Stor-Age’s organic growth in Gauteng, as it signals the group’s debut into the high-density northern suburbs,” CEO Gavin Lucas said in a press release.
In addition, the company is nearing completion on two expansion projects, with two new developments set to begin. Together they will add 29,000 square meters to its portfolio. Stor-Age is also nearing completion on its acquisition of local competitor Storage RSA for up to R340 million. The six-property portfolio will add 39,500 square meters to the Stor-Age portfolio and includes a development opportunity in Bryanston. The REIT has also finished negotiations to acquire a separate, licensed facility operating under the Storage RSA brand, according to the release.
“RSA presents Stor-Age with the rare opportunity to buy South African self-storage properties that complement the location, scale and quality of Stor-Age’s existing portfolio,” Lucas said. “The acquisition will bulk up our balance sheet in addition to our trading footprint.”
Stor-Age declared a dividend of 43.04 cents per share for the period, beating projections by 6 percent, according to the release.
Headquartered in Cape Town, Stor-Age operates 34 self-storage facilities in four South African metropolitan areas. The portfolio comprises approximately 280,000 square meters. Established in 2006 by the Lucas family, Stor-Age is the operator appointed by Stor-Age Property Fund Managers Pty. Ltd. to manage and market the property portfolio owned by Stor-Age Property Holdings Pty. Ltd. It was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in November 2015.