Archive | Securities – NZ

5% revaluation gain for Goodman

The Goodman Property Trust’s manager said yesterday year-end revaluations would lift net tangible asset backing by 7.5c/unit, but the announcement did nothing for the unit price.

The units closed on the NZX at $1.20 on Friday, gained 2c yesterday to $1.22 – the asset backing/unit last September – but dropped back to $1.205 today.

Goodman (NZ) Ltd chief executive John Dakin said draft valuation reports from independent valuers indicated that the property portfolio would record a full-year gain of about $115 million, or about 5%, taking the current value over $2.4 billion.

He said the valuation result reflected the continuing demand for high quality industrial property. The revaluation remains subject to finalisation & independent audit. The trust will provide more details when it releases its annual result on 18 May.

Attribution: Company release.

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Augusta unconditional as second tenant signed for Broadway development

Augusta Capital Ltd has gone unconditional on its purchase for syndication of Mercury Energy Ltd’s new headquarters at 33 Broadway, Newmarket, where construction is just starting.

Mercury Energy will be the anchor tenant, consolidating its 4 Auckland offices in the one 5-green-star building and occupying over half the development at the roundabout across the road from the Newmarket Olympic pool. The company will be on a 12-year lease. Augusta managing director Mark Francis also confirmed Tegel Foods today as an office tenant.

Augusta subsidiary Augusta Funds Management Ltd will raise $83.5 million of equity through a unit trust to be established to acquire the property. Augusta Capital will underwrite $33.5 million and other parties the balance of the capital raising.

Mr Francis said a product disclosure statement was being prepared and the offer should be open for investment in mid-April. No money is being sought yet.

The building is under construction by Mansons Broadway Ltd with settlement (but not building completion) scheduled for 1 July. Mansons will provide a 10-year capex guarantee from completion.

When Augusta entered into the agreement in December to acquire the unfinished development, Augusta managing director Mark Francis said it was a new phase in syndicate investment strategy: “Augusta believes this transaction signals a key strategic step as it moves from not simply being a buyer of investment grade assets but into funding & development of investment grade assets.”

The total consideration is $143,111,878, with a fixed amount payable at settlement, further drawdowns made on a cost-to-complete basis as the development progresses, and retention amounts payable on achievement of certain development & leasing milestones.

Earlier stories:
20 February 2017: Augusta launches Mercury syndication
22 December 2016:  Augusta takes new step in syndication

Attribution: Company release.

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Kiwi proposal for NPT finalised “in next few days”

NPT Ltd expects to conclude arrangements with Kiwi Property Group Ltd in the next few days on Kiwi’s proposal for NPT’s future.

NPT chief executive Tony Osborne said today the company expected to hold a special shareholder meeting in April.

Kiwi has proposed:

It will sell The Majestic Centre & North City Shopping Centre (the Kiwi Properties) to NPT for $230 million
It will pay NPT a one-off $6 million to acquire the right to manage NPT & its property portfolio, and
It will take a cornerstone shareholding in NPT of about 19.9%.

Earlier stories:
6 March 2017: NPT works through detail of Kiwi bid
12 January 2017: Augusta drops court action but NPT meeting likely delayed
8 January 2017: NPT interim report shows company treading water
14 December 2016: Kiwi proposal for NPT revealed
2 December 2016: Augusta gets February court date while NPT continues with meeting plan
23 November 2016: Lack of revaluations halves NPT profit
4 November 2016: NPT considering more than just Augusta’s proposal
31 October 2016: 
Fourth era for NPT a hard option to combat
27 September 2016: 
Augusta buys 9% of NPT

Attribution: Company release.

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Corrected: Argosy sells Dalgety Drive property to owner-occupier

Published 21 March 2017, yield detail added 22 March 2017
Argosy Property Ltd has disposed of the industrial property at 67 Dalgety Drive in Wiri for $6.85 million, which the company said was a 44% premium to its most recent book value.

The company did an interim revaluation of its portfolio last September, for the first time since 2009, and that valuation of $4.45 million put the passing yield at 8.38%. The sale price is 54% up on that. The building has a net lettable area of 3698m².

Chief executive Peter Mence said yesterday Argosy classified the property as non-core. The buyer is a private company which will operate from the site once the lease of the current tenant, RLA Polymers Ltd, expires on 31 March.

Attribution: Company release, calculator.

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5 new Highbrook developments include more Quest units & parking building

Goodman Property Trust’s manager announced 5 new developments for the Highbrook Business Park yesterday, worth a total $44 million.

Goodman (NZ) Ltd chief executive John Dakin said they were expected to generate around $3.7 million/year in rent, an 8.4% return on investment.

The 5 new Highbrook projects, their size, cost & expected completion date:

Quest serviced apartment expansion: 60 new apartments, $11.7 million, July 2018
The Crossing office building 6: 3006m², $4.9 million, June 2018
Multi-storey carpark building: 324 new parking spaces, $5.7 million December 2017
Warehouse on Pukekiwiriki Place: 2929m², $13.9 million, November 2017
Showroom & warehouse units on Highbrook Drive: 1730m², $7.9 million, December 2017.

Mr Dakin said: “Completing the development programme at Highbrook is a key priority, and these new projects are timed to take advantage of the positive customer demand & strong market conditions that currently exist.”

Highbrook’s current value exceeds $1 billion, making it Goodman’s largest investment asset. The 110ha estate is about 70% of the way through its planned development and contains over 40 buildings, providing over 380,000m² of warehouse & office space.

The Crossing – the commercial heart – provides accommodation, business support services, food & hospitality options and other amenity & recreational opportunities.

Mr Dakin said: “High occupancy levels at the Quest and a shortage of visitor accommodation in Auckland are the catalysts for a substantial new expansion project that will double the number of serviced apartments at The Crossing. Following the success of the recently completed Building 5, we are also commencing another new office facility and developing an adjoining multi-storey carpark.”

The trust’s industrial portfolio has a 100% occupancy rate, and the 2 new warehouse developments are aimed at continuing Goodman’s highly successful build-to-lease programme: “With most projects leasing well before completion, it’s been an effective strategy that is growing cash earnings and improving an already high quality property portfolio,” Mr Dakin said.

Attribution: Company release.

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Fletcher Building cuts earnings guidance by $110 million

Fletcher Building Ltd has dropped its range earnings guidance for the year to June by $110 million (before interest, tax & significant items).

The range when chief executive Mark Adamson (above) delivered the half-year results on 22 February was $720-760 million. The range now is $610-650 million.

Mr Adamson said today: “The revised guidance is due to the identification of additional estimated losses & downside risk in the buildings & interiors business unit of the construction division.

“A thorough review of the buildings & interiors business & projects began in late calendar year 2016 and led to new management & governance processes. A significant loss was recorded for buildings & interiors in the half-year results based on the best estimate available at the time. However, management has now identified an increase in the estimated loss on the major construction project which was referenced at the time of the announcement of the first-half results, and the identification of downside risk on other buildings & interiors projects, with the majority being a provision for expected losses on one other major project….

“For reasons of client confidentiality, we will not name the projects. We expect one of the projects to complete within the next few months, and the other is targeting completion in the 2019 financial year.”

The second project had been expected to make a $10 million ebit contribution to 2018 earnings.

Mr Adamson said all other business units within the construction division had continued their strong trading performance. “However, taking into account the new estimates of profitability for the commercial construction projects, it is now expected that the construction division as a whole will report a loss at the ebit level for the 2017 financial year.

“Trading for Fletcher Building’s other divisions remains in line with expectations previously discussed in the first-half earnings commentary.”

Specific questions

In a Q&A section of his release, Mr Adamson said: “The major projects involved are large & highly complex. Project reports & reviews received since the half-year results announcement have indicated significantly higher costs to complete the projects, and have also enabled improved quantification of remaining risks. In addition, the detailed review by new management has led to downward revisions in expected profits on a number of smaller projects.

“The most significant issues relate to complexity in design, subcontractor management and building programme delivery on key projects. This has led to an extension of project timelines and increase in project resource requirements & costs, relative to original budgets. The extent of this has become more apparent since the half-year announcement as new management & processes have bedded in.”

As a result of this debacle, Mr Adamson said Fletcher Building had appointed a chief operating officer for the construction division, a new head of risk & governance in the construction division, and a new general manager of the buildings & interiors business unit would start shortly. We have new finance leadership & processes along with the recent implementation of a new financial management reporting system. The criteria for bidding major construction projects have been made more stringent, and internal review processes for proposed & existing projects have been strengthened. We believe these changes will drive improvement in future periods.”

Would the update also impact the outlook for financial year 2018? Mr Adamson said: “Fletcher Building does not provide guidance beyond the current financial year, however we have tried to be conservative in estimating the losses in the current construction book, and trading in our other divisions remains in line with our expectations.”

Mr Adamson said he wouldn’t discuss potential claims: “We do not discuss matters related to claims publicly. Whenever we have issues on a construction project, we endeavour to work constructively with our clients & other relevant parties to resolve them. Where we have a robust basis for a claim we will consider our position carefully.

Do these issues point to a systemic issue in your construction book? “We don’t think these issues are systemic because they are primarily related to programme & design challenges on a small number of major projects. We are very cognisant of pressure on labour & sub-contractor resource in the New Zealand construction industry at present, and need to ensure we manage this effectively in current projects & future bids. We believe that the changes we are making to strengthen our governance, management processes & bidding criteria and review & approval processes will enable improved performance in the future.

What proportion of the contracts in the construction book are fixed price? “Our current construction backlog is about $2.7 billion. Of this, about $1.5 billion is in the buildings & interiors business. All but one of our major projects underway in buildings & interiors is either a ‘fixed price lump sum’ or ‘guaranteed maximum price’ contract. This is standard in the commercial construction industry. We do not believe the issues we have uncovered relate to contract type, but rather challenges related to programme & design complexity in key projects.”

Has the growth in the buildings & interiors business been driven by a deliberate strategy to boost volume growth for the building products division? “Building products operates as an independent division to construction and supplies product to the construction division’s projects on arm’s length terms. We estimate that sales from building products businesses to buildings & interiors make up less than 5% of total building products revenue.”

Despite the reduction in forecast cashflows from the construction division in financial year 2017, Mr Adamson said the company remained comfortably within its banking covenants & target debt metrics and expected to continue to do so: “Based on the updated guidance range, we expect the ratio of net debt:net debt + equity to be around 34% at the end of financial year 2017, and the ratio of net debt:ebitda to be about 2.4 times.”

Earlier story:
19 July 2017: Fletcher Building to explain construction loss Monday morning

Attribution: Company release.

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Local government agency considers 16-year bonds

The NZ Local Government Funding Agency Ltd, set up in 2011 to sell bonds on behalf of member councils, is looking at issuing a 16-year bond in April.

Chief executive Mark Butcher said a bond maturing in 2033 would allow the agency to provide long-dated funding to councils with a better match to their long-dated assets.

It would extend the agency’s debt profile 6 years beyond its longest-dated bond at the moment, which matures in April 2027.

The agency’s bonds trade on the NZX debt market and are rated AA+ (domestic long term) by international credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, the same as the Government’s rating.

The agency has issued $6.8 billion of bonds on behalf of its council members, with 7 maturities from 2017-27. However, chair Craig Stobo said in the half-year report issued in February the agency had issued only $595 million of long-dated bonds over the 6 months to December, adding: “While this is in line with statement of intent forecast, it is one of the lowest issuance amounts over a 6-month period, reflecting reduced borrowing demand from our council members.”

The agency has a bond tender scheduled for Wednesday 5 April and will release tender details 2 days earlier. If it decides to proceed with the 2033 bond, it will release details of that on Tuesday 4 April.

Link:
NZ Local Government Funding Agency

Attribution: Company release.

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Fletcher Building to explain construction loss Monday morning

Fletcher Building Ltd expects to make an announcement on earnings guidance on Monday morning after asking for a trading halt on its shares on the NZX & ASX exchanges on Friday.

The company sought the trading halt while it completed a review of the financial performance of its construction division & impact on earnings guidance.

Chief executive Mark Adamson was more concerned about when construction losses had to appear on the company’s books when he presented the company’s half-year results on 22 February, than explaining how they’d arisen.

“You have to take all of that loss in to the books in the first half,” he said then. “It is in the order of 10s of millions of dollars. It’s a really detailed programme management issue.”

In the results media release, Mr Adamson said: “Construction operating earnings reduced due to the timing of earnings from certain projects being recognised, expensed bid costs, a reduced contribution from Fletcher EQR (Earthquake Recovery in Christchurch) and losses incurred on a major construction project.”

Mr Adamson wouldn’t say whether that one project where the full losses had to be reported for the interim result was the only one where this nature of impact was occurring – and he wouldn’t explain how the country’s biggest construction company could make a loss entering a new site such as SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd’s International Convention Centre or Precinct Properties NZ Ltd’s Commercial Bay.

According to the interim accounts, the construction division increased revenue by 54%, from $748 million in the December 2015 half-year to $1.15 billion in the December 2016 half. Reported operating earnings, and operating earnings on the non-GAAP measure before significant items, were down 33%, from $36 million to $24 million. The group’s $16 million of significant items related to site closures at Fletcher Insulation & Rocla Products ($15 million) and costs associated with acquiring the Higgins business ($1 million).

New Zealand construction operating earnings fell from $26 million in the 2015 half to $1 million in the latest period, while South Pacific construction earnings rose from $10 million to $23 million.

Attribution: Company accounts, release, interim results briefing.

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Rest of Queensgate shopping centre to reopen

Stride Investment Management Ltd said on Wednesday it would reopen the balance of the Queensgate shopping centre in Lower Hutt on Thursday 6 April following completion of demolition of a portion of the carpark & its cinema complex.

The centre was closed for inspection after the Kaikoura earthquake in November and partially reopened 11 days later. It will be reclad and a ground-level carpark put in the place of the current demolition site. Some egress points will also change.

Stride Investment Management has previously announced it will rebuild the cinema complex. In the meantime, regional centre manager Jan Plummer said, the ground-level parking & cladding would be a medium-term solution.

“Shrink-wrapping the building to create protection from the elements will allow contractors to take their time in creating the best possible medium-term design aesthetic, with the intention being that the shrink wrap will still be in place at the time of reopening to allow this work to continue.”

Ms Plummer said retailers whose premises remained closed because of the adjacent demolition would be given a confirmed date to access their stores in the next week.

Queensgate is owned by the Diversified NZ Property Trust.

Attribution: Company release.

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Goodman takes syndicate units to facilitate Millennium Centre sale

The Goodman Property Trust’s manager said yesterday the trust had taken $12 million of units in the property syndicate that has bought the Millennium Centre at Greenlane (pictured) from it.

Goodman sold the 3 office properties at 600-604 Great South Rd, Greenlane, to syndicator Oyster Management Ltd for $210 million last year and settled yesterday.

Goodman (NZ) Ltd chief executive John Dakin said the trust had taken units in the syndicate to facilitate the transaction, would hold the investment for a maximum 2 years and expected to receive an annual return of 8%.

Mr Dakin said Goodman had also sold the commercial buildings & associated development land at 1 Show Place in Addington, Christchurch, for $14 million as part of its asset recycling programme. The unconditional sale to a local investor is expected to settle before the end of this month.

“An active sales programme is reducing debt and providing funding capacity for the trust’s development activity. It’s a strategy that is improving the quality of the portfolio and increasing investment in the favoured Auckland industrial market, a sector we expect to deliver superior growth,” he said.

The 2 transactions take Goodman’s total value of sales this financial year to almost $280 million.

Earlier stories:
5 October 2016: New leases lift price on Greenlane sale
14 July 2016: Goodman to sell Millennium & Yellow buildings to Oyster
1 July 2010: Goodman buys partner out of Show Place
30 May 2007: Macquarie Goodman buys 50% stake in Addington office park company

Attribution: Company release.

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