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Urbus achieves another milestone

Urbus achieves another milestone

Urbus Properties today announced the sale of its last remaining South Island property at 1 Sir William Pickering Drive, Christchurch, for $2.780 million – $0.130 million above book value.

This is the sixth property in the Urbus portfolio sold this year as part of a programme to re-weight the portfolio towards industrial and retail property, with an emphasis on the North Island – in particular Auckland. The total value of the sales has been $14.156 million, resulting in $1.05 million surplus above March 2002 book values.

Urbus purchased the Christchurch property in November 2000 for $2.45 million and had recently renewed the lease with the existing tenant, Aoraki Corporation, for a further seven years.

This week Urbus also settled the purchase of the property assets of nine Waltus Syndicates worth $157 million, taking the total value of the portfolio to $390 million.

The effect of these transactions on Urbus’ portfolio is to increase the weighting toward industrial property (up to 31% of the portfolio from 19%), at the same time reducing exposure to the office market (down from 42% to 32%). Retail exposure remains fairly constant (dropping only slightly from 39% to 37%).

The portfolio now has an even stronger Auckland bias (up to 55% from 43%), with a corresponding reduction of exposure in Hamilton and the central North Island, as well as withdrawing from the South Island.

These significant portfolio changes will position Urbus strongly as New Zealand’s third largest dividend paying property company behind AMP and Kiwi. In the New Year, as previously stated, the Board intends to apply to the NZSE for a full listing.

Tomorrow, Urbus will pay and interim dividend of 4.50 cps (including imputations) which is in line with its forecast annual dividend of 9 cps (including imputations).

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