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Bigger portfolio boosts Stride Property

NZN 29/05/2016 Paul McBeth

Stride Property has lifted full-year earnings 16 per cent as an expanding portfolio boosted rental income.

Distributable profit, the favoured measure of property investors, rose to $37.1 million in the year to the end of March from $32.1m, a year earlier, the company formerly known as DNZ Property Fund said.

Net rental income rose 21 per cent as its portfolio grew to 59 properties worth $1.27 billion as at the end of March from 41 properties worth $872.4m a year earlier.

"The growth of Stride's business during 2016 has provided an excellent platform for continued growth in earnings and profitability," chief executive Peter Alexander said.

"The programme to reposition the portfolio will continue alongside careful capital management to ensure that market opportunities can be realised when they occur."

Stride changed its name in September last year as it restructured its property holdings, raising money to buy 19 Countdown supermarket sites and selling other properties to fund the NorthWest Shopping Centre development in Auckland.

More recently, the Diversified NZ Property Fund which is managed by Stride, agreed to buy two Westfield malls.

The property investor announced plans to split its property-owning business from its real estate investment management business.

Stride would retain the property investment portfolio and a new entity would manage the Stride properties and other property portfolios. The transaction needs shareholder approval at a special meeting.

The board declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 2.75 cents per share, taking the annual payout to 10.75 cents, up from 10.25 cents in 2015.

Net profit climbed 34 per cent to $92.4m, including a $59.9m gain in the value of investment properties.

The shares last traded at $2.21 and have increased 1.6 per cent so far this year.

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