Acorn property fund to pay Sh188m dividends


Edward Kirathe, Chief Executive Officer, Acorn Holdings Limited during the official opening of Qwetu Aberdare Heights student accommodation. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Property developer Acorn will pay shareholders Sh188 million in dividends after the profit from its student accommodation income real estate investment trust (I-Reit) rose by 30 percent to Sh504.9 million in the financial year ended December.

Acorn has recommended payment of a final payout of Sh0.5 per unit or a total of Sh132.26 million which adds to Sh0.27 per unit or Sh55.79 million interim distribution made in July last year.

The combined payout, which Acorn says is an equivalent of 98 percent of the total distributable income, is more than the Sh169 million paid in the prior year.

Read: Hostels maker Acorn diversifies into apartments

“The Reits exhibited strong growth despite the challenging environment, which speaks volumes to the rationale for investing in Reits, which offer a consistent and predictable return profile. We are announcing our fourth straight dividend from the I-Reit,” said Raghav Gandhi, managing director at Acorn Investment Management Limited.

The net profit for the I-Reit grew from Sh387.48 million a year earlier as rental and related income rose by 32 percent to Sh441 million.

There was also a rise in fair value gain on the revaluation of investment property from Sh106.4 million to Sh365.3 million.

Acorn said the rise in profit was helped by increased occupancy, higher rents, efficiency and the scaling up of the portfolio through the acquisition of two new assets –Qwetu Parklands and Qwetu Aberdare Heights.

Read: 257 retail investors buy into Acorn's property fund

Acorn’s development real estate investment trust (D-Reit) net profit more than halved from Sh775.88 million to Sh384.2 million partly due to the impact of accounting standard requirements on the treatment of fair market gains and interest expense.

[email protected]