On 6 February 2019, BWP Trust (ASX: BWP) has announced its half-yearly results for the period ended 31 December 2018. Among the key highlights, the company will distribute a total of $57.4 million for the six months, up by 1.7 per cent on the previous corresponding period. As per the release, the Board of Directors declared an unfranked six months dividend of 8.93 cents per share (cps), up 1.7% as compared to the prior corresponding period. It will be paid on 22 February 2019 with the record date of December 31, 2018. The growth of like?for?like rentals was 2.5 per cent for the 12 months to 31 December 2018.
The company reported a total income of $79.0 million for the half year ended 31 December 2018, up by 2.7 per cent over the previous corresponding period. The company has started straight-lining rent, as per the requirement of IFRS 16 Leases, and this led to an increase in rental income by $ 2.5 million for the period. This partially offset the impact of rent foregone from divestments and the redevelopment of sites vacated by Bunnings that occurred during prior periods.
The other operating expenses increased to $3.5 million in the current period from $2.9 million in the previous corresponding period, which was mainly driven by a significant increase in Queensland Land Tax, and outgoings for properties in the process of being redeveloped.
The company had a weighted average cost of debt of 4.3 per cent for the six months, coupled with a gearing ratio of 18.4 per cent as at 31 December 2018. The finance costs of $10.0 million were 10.5 per cent lower than the previous corresponding six months period, on the back of the lower weighted average cost of debt coupled with lower borrowing levels. The weighted average cost of debt for the half-year was 4.31 per cent, compared to 4.65 per cent for the previous corresponding period.
On the divestment front, on September 2018, the trust completed the sale to unrelated third parties of its Altona North, Victoria and Burleigh Heads, Queensland properties which had previously been occupied by Bunnings. The net sale proceeds were $14.4 million and $19.7 million, compared to the last book values before entering into the transactions of $13.9 million and $16.6 million respectively.
Now let us quickly have a glance at BWP Trust’s stock performance and the return it has posted over the last few months. The stock is currently trading at a price of $3.655 and decreased by almost 1.482% during the day’s trade, with a market capitalisation of ~$2.38 billion. The stock opened at $3.680 with its day high price at the same level; however, it touched a day’s low of $3.640. The stock has generated a YTD return of 5.10% and posted returns of 12.08%, 10.75% and 4.21% over the last six months, three months and one-month period, respectively. It has a 52-week high price of $3.760 and a 52-week low of $2.870. The stock is trading at a PE multiple of 13.020x.
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