Britam makes Sh643m profit from property investments


Britam Towers. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Britam Holdings has posted the first profit from its property investments in the last four years after the occupancy of its 32-storey tower in Upper Hill hit 94 percent.

The group’s latest annual report covering the financial year ended December 2022 shows Britam’s net profit from investment property hit Sh643 million compared with a Sh206 loss in the previous year.

At a Group level, Britam Holdings last year posted a Sh1.69 billion net profit on reduced costs, marking a recovery from Sh72 million earned in the previous year.

The Sh643 million profit, the first since Sh507.2 million in 2018, came in the period Britam Tower’s occupancy levels rose from 86 percent to 94 percent as economic activities continued to recover from Covid-19 disruptions.

“Net profit from investment property— which comprises rental income and fair value movements in investment properties recorded a gain of Sh643 million in the year on the background of growth in occupancy levels and improved property market,” said Britam in the annual report.

The rise in occupancy levels for Britam Towers to 94 percent is a sharp contrast with 47 percent occupancy rate in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit office occupancy rates, pushing Britam into a Sh1.5 billion investment property loss.

Located in the upmarket Upper Hill area, the ultra-modern tower has a total lettable space of 350,000 square feet with 1,000 parking bays and targets clients such as diplomatic missions, multinationals, private companies and financial institutions.

The insurer said its Britam Centre, a grade B building that is also in Upper Hill closed the year with an occupancy level of 91 percent, pointing to a recovery from Covid-19 period when many businesses shut or scaled down office space and turned to virtual operations.

Britam’s service apartments operated by Ascott as Somerset Westview Hotel in Nairobi closed the year with an occupancy level of 65 percent. The hotel was launched in 2021.

The firm has been diversifying its revenue streams away from insurance and equities market to ensure growth.

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