Better year for Oryx Properties

Oryx Properties reported a profit before taxation on nearly N$17.6 million for the year ended 30 June 2021, a dramatic turn-around from the N$151.5 million in its 2020 book-year.

13 September 2021 | Business

We are excited about our fresh, new, modern look and know that this will take us forward into a bright future which includes the creation of jobs, contribution to the GDP of our country and enhanced investment. – Ben Jooste, CEO: Oryx Properties

Jo-Maré Duddy – Locally-listed Oryx Properties provided Covid-19-related rent concessions to tenants to the tune of N$27.2 million in its 2021 financial year, bringing its total rental concessions since the pandemic hit Namibia in March last year to N$44.7 million.

The group, who retail portfolio includes Maerua Mall and Gustav Voigts centre in Windhoek, on Friday released its latest annual results on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), reporting a profit before taxation on nearly N$17.6 million for the year ended 30 June 2021. This is a dramatic turn-around from its 2020 book-year, when Oryx reported a loss before taxation of nearly N$151.5 million.

Tax of nearly N$7.6 million and a foreign exchange loss of about N$42.1 in the associate resulted in a total comprehensive loss of about N$32.1 million for Oryx’s 2021 financial year. In 2020, the group reported a total comprehensive loss of about N$88.4 million.

Net rental income increased by 1% from the previous year and totalled about N$227.5 million.

“The reduction from previous years’ annual escalations of between 6% and 8% was due to the impact of negative rental reversions where most of the large South African national retailers’ lease agreements were renewed during the latter part of the financial year, against a backdrop of an industry being under immense pressure,” Oryx said.

MARKET

“Namibia’s economic performance is expected to improve during 2022, following what is estimated to be the country’s deepest contraction in 2020 and 2021,” the directors commented on the results.

“Risks to domestic growth are dominated by the continued impact of Covid-19 where a successful accelerated vaccination rollout in Namibia is required to protect and improve our economic prospects. During the first quarter of 2021, activity in the tourism and retail sectors remained subdued and registered declines of 79.2% and 1.5% respectively year-on-year. The reduction in the number of international and regional airport arrivals had and continues to have a severe impact on the tourism sector,” they said.

The directors continued: “Management continues to strengthen the balance sheet by focusing on the retention of tenants, cash preservation, prudent capital management and spending, strategic capital expenditure, reduction to vacancies and intense management of our debtors’ book.

“Our focus is on our major assets, with a specific focus on ensuring that new trends in the retail sector are incorporated with the vision we have for our properties. In addition, we will ensure that opportunities which present themselves are analysed and, where feasible, undertaken to ensure long-term sustainability of our company.”

NEW LOOK

The release of the annual results on Friday coincided with the launch of a new logo and overall enhanced brand for Oryx.

Ben Jooste, chief executive officer of Oryx Properties said that while the current logo had stood the group and company in good stead for the past 19 years, it was time for something new.

“Nothing lasts forever and it has become very clear – especially over the past two years – that we, as a company and a group have to adapt for our tenants to cater for modern needs, adapt for our staff – to ensure they remain happy, motivated and healthy, adapt our operations – to be conscious of different expectations and environments, adapt our assets to the latest market and consumer trends and adapt our overall thinking and the way we do business – to survive and be profitable,” Jooste said.

Jooste continued by saying that the new look and brand needed to stand the test of time going forward, thereby ensuring that it was modern, able to connect to a new generation of consumers, tenants and investors, and deal with thinking within business that was no longer ‘usual’. “Times are changing and have changed tremendously in the last 18 months, and we need to change with these times to ensure that the business not only survives, but also thrives.”

SYMBOL

The group retained the Oryx in the logo as the animal still symbolises what it stands for, namely adaptability, toughness, embracing of change and showing resilience and endurance. Further enhancements have been made to the overall brand, thereby modernising the overall look and feel and updating the corporate Identity guide.

“We are excited about our fresh, new, modern look and know that this will take us forward into a bright future which includes the creation of jobs, contribution to the GDP of our country and enhanced investment,” Jooste said.

He said the strategy at Oryx Properties for the short term included investing in the major assets to ensure they remain relevant and extend the life expectancy of these.

“We will continue to monitor our expenses, optimise our existing portfolio, and make yield enhancing decisions on predictable returns so that we can keep investing, thereby delivering sustainable returns on the expectations of our company and our shareholders, whilst nurturing our Namibian heritage.”

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