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Custodian REIT - Strategy still winning

Custodian REIT - Strategy still winning

Custodian REIT (LON:CREI) released its quarterly net asset value (NAV) updated on 29 January. This was in line with our expectations.

NAV Total Return +1.0% in the quarter. Portfolio net initial yield (a measure of property income yield) of 6.6%. Balance sheet gearing remains low at LTV (loan-to-value) ratio of 24.7%.

We believe that all of the key dynamics remain intact to sustain continuing strong shareholder returns.

During 2018 Custodian was among the top 10 performing UK real estate investment trusts (REITs) by total shareholder return. In this report, we take a look at strategies that have performed well in the REIT sector. We argue that Custodian's focus on regional properties sustains continued strong rental income returns in 2019 and beyond.

Since the initial public offering (IPO) in 2014, Custodian has delivered NAV total returns of 7.3% per year, of which more than 70% has come from dividends paid. Dividends are supported by strong rental income (details on p3).

Full report is available via Capital Network website
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Custodian REIT Timeline

CN Research
January 29 2019

Related Researches

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October 25 2018

Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI) issued its quarterly NAV (net asset value) update for the three months ended September 30,  on October 23. The company reported a NAV total return per share of 2.3% for the period (NAV increase plus dividend approved), and a reduction in net gearing to 20.5% loan-to-value, from 21.0% on June 30. Custodian acquired five new properties during the period with net initial yields of between 6.38% and 9.79%. More details are on p2.

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October 03 2018

Grit Real Estate Income Group (LON:GR1T) is a multi-listed (LSE, JSE, SEM) property company with a focus on selected African countries with a combination of economic growth, investment friendly policies and political stability. Rental income is underpinned by a blue-chip multinational tenant base, hard currency leases, and high occupancy rates.

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April 30 2019

Custodian REIT (LON:CREI) released its quarterly net asset value (NAV) update on April 30. The release shows a NAV of £426.6mln, unchanged versus December 2018, and NAV total return per share (definition in the release) of 5.9%. Occupancy remains high at 95.9%.

The property portfolio valuation is down by £5mln during the quarter at £527.7mln. This is due to a reduction in the valuation of the high street retail portfolio, which we believe is not a surprise to the market. We note that high street retail now comprises 12% of the overall portfolio weighted by income.

The release describes a subdued environment for investment activity in the UK non-residential property market, due to political uncertainties, but continued resilient economic activity supporting leasings, particularly in the Industrial market (38% of portfolio) and regional offices (11%).

Custodian has announced a target dividend of 6.65p for FY March 2020e, continuing a run of dividend increases since listing in 2014. Custodian now offers a 5.8% dividend yield for FY Mar 2019, versus 3.4% for the sector, as benchmarked by the iShares UK Commercial Property ETF (LON:IUKP).

We consider Custodian's dividend to be well supported by a number of factors:

  • Dividend fully covered by net rental earnings
  • Low balance sheet gearing
  • Low portfolio concentration, with no tenant comprising more than 3.5% of rental income

We consider some of these metrics in more detail on p2.

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