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LLR readying to absorb market shocks

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Property investment company, Letlole La Rona continues to find investment opportunities in various property sectors in Africa to achieve competitive returns. Commenting on the published results, LLR Chief Executive Officer Paul More said LLR will target sectors and markets in the continent and this will be informed by potential revenue and capital growth to be generated. “LLR will also target acquisitions that come with tenants of competitive covenant strength on long leases, as this will not only guarantee occupation, but also real growth in income through predetermined escalations,” said More.

He said the company continues to explore deals in the market with a view to creating diversified and efficient portfolio which could survive market shocks. LLR portfolio comprises 44 percent industrial, 34 percent leisure, 10 percent retail, seven percent office and three percent residential. In its year ended June 2017, LLR recorded 20 percent increase in profit to P63.8 million compared to P53 .2 million recorded in 2016.

More said the growth is primarily due to increased revenues including income of P6.3 million from the newly acquired investment in NBC as well as continued focus on creating operating efficiencies. Contractual rental revenue for the year ended 30 June 2017 was P75.9 million which is 13 percent increase from the prior year. “This growth was largely driven by effective management of vacancies, compounded annual escalations which are embedded in the lease agreements as well as rentals from Red Square,” stated More.

He said the company continues to enjoy capital appreciation of its portfolio because of its solid asset base. The company’s investment properties inclusive of operating lease assets are currently recorded at P739.4 million compared to previous year’s P710.1 million. LLR is the largest investor in industrial and hotel space of the Botswana Stock Exchange-listed property funds and these sectors have been resilient despite the current challenging trading environment. “Management is proactive in ensuring that vacancy levels are low and at close of the current financial year, vacancy rate for industrial and commercial portfolio was insignificant sitting at one percent,” said More. The gross yield for LLR portfolio for 2017 is 10 percent.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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