Minor damage, strong profit for listed property firms

Argosy's Stewart Dawson corner is undamaged
AMY JACKMAN/FAIRFAX NZ

Argosy's Stewart Dawson corner is undamaged

The country's key listed property firms with Wellington properties have come through November 14's quake with minimal impact.

Stride Property is possibly the most affected, as manager of the Queensgate mall which is being partially demolished. 

Precinct Properties' Deloitte House, which was on the market at the time, is still closed pending investigation and Argosy's 143 Lambton Quay and NZ Post buildings suffered non-structural damage.

Kiwi's Aurora Centre on The Terrace occupied by Ministry of Social Development, was quickly reopened after the quake.

Kiwi's Aurora Centre on The Terrace occupied by Ministry of Social Development, was quickly reopened after the quake.

Precinct chief executive Scott Pritchard said it might take a couple of weeks before tenants could re-enter as they finished a detailed assessment.

READ MORE: 
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"They're intrusive assessments ...The reason that we're undertaking the assessments is mainly around the extent of damage that's occurred to some of our occupiers' fitout and sometimes that can be a clue as to whether there's more significant damage."

Augusta expects a good full year result after the second syndication of its NZME building is complete
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Augusta expects a good full year result after the second syndication of its NZME building is complete

Kiwi Property and Argosy, which both reported strong profits last week, say most if not all of their buildings have been re-occupied and came through the quake well.

Wellington is home to about a quarter of Argosy's $1.4 billion portfolio and while many tenants had suffered superficial damage, the company said all its buildings were structurally sound.

These included its high-profile Stewart Dawson Corner, which was undamaged, while its industrial portfolio sustained only minor damage.

New Zealand Post House on Waterloo Quay has been cleared structurally, and the ground floor re-occupied, although a clean-up of the rest of the building is expected to take a couple of weeks.

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The top three floors of 143 Lambton Quay, leased to Te Puni Kokiri, are being repaired along with part of the lift shaft bracing.

Argosy posted a net profit of $56.2m for its first half to September 30, up 22 per cent due in large part to a $35m gain on the value of its portfolio. 

The company plans to progressively sell about $55m worth of property to update its portfolio.

Kiwi Property, which owns North City and the Majestic Centre among others, had all its Wellington buildings quickly up and running again.

It has 14 per cent of its $2.8b portfolio in the Capital and reported a 26.7 per cent lift in net profit of $45.6m for the six months to September 30.

Rising discretionary spending was a factor, boosting total retail sales at Kiwi's malls to $1.64b, an increase of 5.8 per cent.

Away from Wellington, Augusta Capital and its takeover target NPT have both reported drops in interim profit.

NPT's first-half net profit halved from the same period last year, totalling $2.531m, and its gross rental income eased very slightly to $8.466m.

However, its property portfolio increased in value to $169.8m, up 3.9 per cent.

NPT is the subject of an uninvited takeover bid by Augusta Capital which would involve removing three of its directors. 

Augusta itself reported a 28 per cent drop in interim net profit, falling to $5.23m due to tax, transaction costs and fair value losses on investments.

This had been offset by strong growth in its funds management business, it said.

Augusta, which has sold several buildings into syndicates or funds that it manages, said it was on target for a strong result at the end of the year.

In November it expects to settle the syndication sale of its Graham St Building B, anchored by NZME. Its syndication of Building A raised $70m in equity.

 - Stuff

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