Precinct Properties New Zealand expects earnings per share to fall this year and dividends to remain unchanged as it focuses on development after completing its asset sale programme.

The Auckland-based listed property trust forecast a dividend of 5.4 cents per share for the 2016 financial year, the same level as the past two years, it said in a statement.

It expects earnings before performance fees of about 6cps in 2016, down from 6.19c in 2015, and 6.24c in 2014.

Precinct is shifting its focus to a growing market in Auckland, the nation’s largest city, and away from the softer corporate market in Wellington, the nation’s capital.

It doesn’t expect any further asset sales in the 2016 financial year after announcing the sale on Wednesday of its officer tower at 125 The Terrace for $65 million, following on from $209m of asset sales in the 2015 financial year.

The sales have cut the size of its Wellington portfolio to $506m from $690m in 2014, and reduced its exposure to the Wellington corporate market.

Its Auckland properties are valued at $1.04 billion.

The company has raised $174m of equity through a pro-rata entitlement and secured $173m of long-term borrowings and is focused on the development of its Auckland projects at the Wynyard Quarter and the Downtown Shopping Centre, and of its Bowen Campus in Wellington.

“The board and management believe it is appropriate to focus on long-term value growth,” the company said.

The company has posted a 4.4 per cent increase in net profit to $122.4m for the year ended June 30.


By Tina Morrison