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Prime Time grows almost 10 times in 10 years

Prime Time grows almost 10 times in 10 years
January 15
14:19 2018
  • From initial portfolio of P175 million a decade ago to P1.12 billion today



PrimeTime Holdings Limited is running through interesting times and is enjoying the success that it has recorded over the last decade since listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) in December of 2007, Global Business has established.

Following its listing that represented a market capitalisation of P193 million, the group made several property investments over the next 10 years in Botswana and later expanding to Zambia.

It started off with the May 2008 acquisition of three properties in Francistown for P75m paid with the issue of 25.6m linked units plus cash raised on its Initial Public Offering.

This was followed by a number of other acquisitions, among them 75% of a Gaborone CBD plot for P6.5m that later became become Prime Plaza, acquisition of Plot 20584 in Gaborone (that houses the G4S headquarters) in February 2011 from G4S Security Services on a sale and leaseback basis, completion of the P100m Sebele Centre retail development in June 2011, acquisition of two G4S properties in Zambia in December 2012, Blue Jacket Square and Barclays Plaza in Francistown in 2015.

In early 2017, the group acquired its largest single property, the Centro Kabulonga in Lusaka for $17.3 million (about P170m).

The group recently released its 2017 Annual Report in which its chairperson Petronella Matumo and Managing Director Alexander Kelly express their delight at presenting an annual report (the 10th) when they are celebrating “a most successful decade following our listing on 20th December 2007. During this time, we have grown from an initial portfolio of 13 properties valued at P175 million to 25 valued at P1.12 billion and total assets of over P1.3 billion.”

Their financial year ended on the 31st August 2017, a year they viewed as an extremely busy and fruitful one for them despite some challenging conditions in the markets in which they operate. During the period under review, PrimeTime has indicated that it has again achieved year-on-year increases in both revenues and operating profits before fair value adjustments. It says lease revenue grew by 27% to P110 million, completed investment property by 34% to stand at P1.12 billion and the price per linked unit by 4% to end the year at P3.16.

“Notwithstanding the vacancies and the ensuing loss of rental, the acquisition costs of new group companies, interest on projects in our development pipeline and the addition of a further 64,760,484 linked units, we are pleased to report that a total distribution of 15.92 thebe per linked unit was achieved for the year, maintaining last year’s level while having laid the foundations for growth in 2018 and beyond,” they two said in a joint statement.

They said the acquisition of Kabulonga represents their entry into the Zambian retail market with rentals accruing to the group from 21st January 2017. The property was purchased with a one-year rental guarantee and was therefore fully let at the year end. The acquisition resulted in the Zambian operations contributing over 20% of the group’s annual rental income. According to the two top executives, this demonstrated a successful implementation of their geographical diversification strategy.

Centro Kabulonga boasts Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Mr. Price as anchor tenants with a mix of fashion, bank branches, service outlets and restaurants taking up the balance. Demand for space at the mall is said to be strong with a waiting list for space including major regional and national brands. The acquisition brings PrimeTime’s portfolio in Zambia to $30 million (about P300m), representing 27% of the group’s portfolio at the year end.

Said Matumo and Kelly in conclusion “The group is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves in the coming year and the management team is constantly searching for suitable investments which will enable us to continue to grow the company and diversify into new markets.”

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