Real estate investment firm, ZIMRE Holdings saw its revenues during the first half of the year ending June 30 catapult 124 percentage points to record $ 3.37 million from $ 1.51 million in comparative period the previous year, despite a difficult year for real estate sector.
Following the currency reforms that saw the abolishment of the 1;1 parity between the USD and RTGS $ and the end to a multi-currency regime system in February and June of this year, respectively, the real estate sector suffered setbacks in form of renegotiation of pre-existing construction contracts, sale agreements on installments basis and contractually fixed USD rentals.
The company made exchange gains of $ 3.3 million while its property portfolio performed well with rentals going 47 percent up to reach $ 1.51 million as compared to $ 1.03 million recorded comparative period the previous year.
Rental income was boosted by the company’s Sawanga Shopping Mall in Victoria Falls and its refurbished Nicoz House in Bulawayo offering student accommodation.
“To mitigate the losses, most leases were migrated to more frequent rent reviews that provide latitude for adjustments that embrace developments in the economic environment,” company chair, Jean Maguranyanga said in a statement accompanying the results.
Total assets grew to $ 181.462 million as at June 30 from $ 55.642 million same period last year against liabilities valued at $ 16.234 million in June this year from $5.812 million same period last year.
The board has resolved to pass the interim dividend for the half year and focus resources on the completion of the outstanding works at the Sawanga Shopping Mall project which will be officially launched fourth quarter.
“Shop fit outs by other tenants are at different stages, while a few outstanding works remain on the main contract which include skylights, water features, landscaping and some civil works. As expected, the development of the mall has changed the face of Victoria Falls,” Maguranyanga said.
However, a negative macro-economic environment continues to pose threats to the company’s rental portfolio particularly office rentals as business is general low.
Average vacancy rates marginally declined from 28 percent to 27 percent with Gweru industrial, Bulawayo CBD and Harare kopje area recording highest void rates.