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AMP NZ Office forecasts higher dividends

AMP NZ Office forecasts higher dividends; profit falls

Feb. 3 - AMP NZ Office Trust, New Zealand’s largest listed investor in prime commercial office property, forecast a 4% increase in its distributions to unit holders this year as rental increase nudge operating earnings higher.

Operating profit rose 1.8% to NZ$27.1 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, the property trust said in a statement. It posted a net loss of NZ$4.97 million, reflecting an unrealized NZ$39.68 million loss on interest rate swaps. In the first-half, rental income gained about 11% to NZ$65.5 million.

“ANZO’s business remains well funded and our balance sheet is strong - gearing is low at 28.7 percent,” chief executive Robert Lang said. “Expectations remain that that the gross full-year distribution, funded from operating earnings, will be 4 percent higher than the previous year.”

Units of AMP Office are unchanged at 92 cents, trading at their lowest levels in almost four years and mirroring a slide in other property trusts as the downturn in the property market erodes the value of portfolios. AMP NZ Office is currently re-assessing the value of its property holdings, Lang said.

Negative market sentiment and the consequent movements in the capitalisation rates adopted by valuers mean there’s potential for a decline in the value of the portfolio, he said.

ANZO will make a second-quarter distribution of 1.824 cents per unit plus imputation credits of 0.273 cents per unit, lifting gross payments in the first half by 4.3%.

ANZO’s occupancy is steady at 98.2% and the portfolio weighted average lease term is unchanged at 4.9 years. Just 1% of ANZO’s portfolio faces a lease expiry this year, Lang said.

Rent reviews for the current year are about one quarter complete and so far have resulted in average rent increases of 25%, he said.


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