23 February 2018
HARARE – Property investment and development firm, Mashonaland Holdings
(Mash Holdings) has written off $870 000 worth of legacy rental arrears on
the back of rising voids as the property market remains depressed, its
acting chief executive said.
The firm’s acting boss, Letiwin Mawire said Mash Holdings – which recorded
an increase in voids to 29,3 percent as at January 31, 2018 from 27,6
percent prior comparable period – had seen its debt collection ratio at 64
percent, slight improvement from 62 percent prior year.
“The company wrote off $870 000 worth of legacy arrears, some dating as
far back as 2009. Otherwise collection on current tenants remains stable
in spite of the difficult operating environment,” she told shareholders at
an Annual General Meeting in the capital yesterday.
Mawire said the firm had managed to attract a few tenants but has not been
able to completely fill in the space left by the voids.
“Generally, the highest vacancy levels were in the Harare office sector as
businesses avoid noise, pollution and congestion that is characteristic of
the Central Business District (CBD).
“Management is actively engaging Harare municipal authorities to ensure
regeneration and improved management of the CBD. It is hoped that the
ongoing Local Development Plan review of the Harare CBD will make the CBD
more attractive and improve occupancies,” she said.
The firm’s revenue in the four-month period to January 2018 at $1,5
million was three percent below prior year’s but five percent above
Property expenses, at $575 166 were 10 percent above the same period last
year and 24 percent above budget with key drivers being voids related
costs (35 percent) and provision for credit losses (30 percent).
“Property expenses to income ratio was 35 percent compared to 31 percent
from the same period last year,” Mawire said.
At $350 281, administrative costs were 32 percent and 20 percent below
prior year budget respectively.
“Despite a reduction in revenue, the operating profit for the period at
$711 988 improves by 10 percent from the same period last year and was
eight percent above budget,” the acting Mash Holdings boss said.