small suburban shopping centre
Source: Canva
  • Aventus upgrades FY21 guidance to FFO of at least 19 cents
  • Profits down to $350M from last corresponding period of $504M
  • Strong patronage with 98.5% occupancy across portfolio, and increase from previous figures

The retail sector was hit hard during the peak of the pandemic, Vicinity and Scentre (owners of Westfield) were both hit hard, posting large losses.

With major shopping centres all suffering, could the suburbs be faring better?

Earlier reporting by The Property Tribune found commercial spaces such as offices could be seeing a spreading out to the suburbs, with a number of companies already jumping on what could become a trend.

The outward shift may be a welcome move for retail too, with Vicinity posting stronger figures in the suburbs and regional areas than in the major centres.

Player in the large format retail sector, Aventus Group seems to have benefitted from the suburban strategy, the landlord to retail centres in the outer suburbs of Midland (WA), Bankstown and the Hills (NSW), Ballarat (VIC) among many others.

The company saw an increase of 8% in traffic compared to pre-COVID levels across the portfolio, and cash collection was reported in a release to the ASX as “strong”, at 98%.

Occupancy also so a rise despite media sensationalism reporting a massive shift to online, Aventus reporting 98.5% occupancy for the portfolio.

Aventus finances are strong too with increases in net tangible assets per security, up 4.7% to $2.24, and net asset values up 3.7% to $2.50.

The company posted a reduced statutory profit of $350M, down from $504M for the corresponding period, but not too large a worry considering the impacts of COVID.

Gearing is within the company target of 30%-40%, currently sitting at 34%.

Aventus CEO, Darren Holland, said “On capital management, we preserve value for investors by not raising capital through a dilutive equity raising. Additionally, the prudent management of our relief agreements resulted in an additional $2million of rent being billed and our focus on cash collection resulting in98% of rent for the period collected. Pleasingly, we increased occupancy to 98.5% and reported a $46 million net valuation gain mainly driven from income growth and the completion of our Caringbah development,”.

As 2021 gets into full swing, Aventus said it has upgraded its guidance.

Mr Holland said: “I am proud to upgradeFY21guidance to FFO of at least 19 cents per security, which represents growth of at least 4% from FY20, and includes the one-off true up amounts and assumes no further major outbreaks of COVID and no new significant government restrictions.”

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