COVID-19 Disrupts NAP Revenue

Recorded P212.9m revenue in the year that ended 31 July 2021, down 2.8 percent from the P207.1m in the prior year

GAZETTE REPORTER

Orange

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to muted growth in revenue at Botswana Stock Exchange-quoted property outfit, New African Properties (NAP), the company has said.
NAP, which listed on the BSE in September 2011, is a variable rate loan stock company whose major beneficial unit holders are Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), Debswana Pension Fund (DPF) Cash Bazaar Holdings (Pty) Ltd (CB Holdings), Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) and Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM).

BPOPF, DPF, MVA and BIFM are Botswana-registered pension funds and fund managers while CB Holdings is an investment and holding company controlling certain entities in Botswana.

NAP owns 64 well-established, strategically located, primarily retail properties across Botswana. Some of these properties are Riverwalk, Kagiso Centre, Gaborone Shopping Centre, Riverwalk Plaza, Plot 8 Station and Madirelo Centre (all in Gaborone).

According to the company in its 2021 integrated annual report, COVID-19 has contributed to its muted growth in revenue. This is despite the company recording P212.9 million in revenue in the year that ended 31 July 2021, a 2.8 percent from the P207.1 million recorded in the prior year.

“The pandemic and the ensuing restrictions impacted the portfolio in a number of ways, one of the most significant being the effects of the curfew and liquor restrictions on restaurants, fast food and entertainment, which had a significant effect of Riverwalk, as well as liquor retailers,” the company said in the report.

“In addition, vacancies took longer to relet, particularly in certain categories of vulnerable retailers and geographic areas dependent on tourism. In these particular cases, tenant retention became the main leasing driver. The vacancy and new lease following the liquidation of the previous Payless owners had a negative impact on the growth in the applicable properties.”

This is the company that recorded profit of P161.5 million in the year under review, which is an 8.2 percent from the P149.3 million of the prior year.

NAP stated in its report that at year end, the tenant base comprised 454 (2020:480) leases occupying 95 percent of the total gross tenable area. “The strength of the tenant base remains strong, with 60 percent (2020:60 percent) of rentals being received from listed and multinational companies, 11 percent (2020:12 percent) from national companies and a further 6 percent and 2 percent (2020:6 percent and 2 percent) from franchisees and government respectively,” the company said.