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LIBERTY TWO DEGREES LIMITED - Operational Update

Release Date: 13/09/2019 12:11
Code(s): L2D     PDF:  
 
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Operational Update

LIBERTY TWO DEGREES LIMITED
(Registration number: 2018/388906/06)
JSE share code: L2D
ISIN: ZAE000260576
(“L2D” or “the Company”)

Operational update

This voluntary report provides the traditional update on the trading performance of the portfolio as reported in
the Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) interim results announcement released on 29 July 2019. At the time, trading
data as at May 2019 was shared as this was the most recent information. In this report, trading density
information for June 2019 is provided together with vacancy rates as at 31 July 2019. In addition, we provide
commentary on the latest leasing initiatives and historical maintenance spend in the portfolio compared to
the benchmark. The information has not been reviewed or reported on by L2D’s external auditors.

While the South African retail environment remains on a slow recovery path with consumers under pressure
given the continued economic downturn, our retail environments continue to gain trading momentum given
their unique locations and tenant mix. Online retail has grown in appeal in South Africa, albeit not at the
same pace as experienced in developed markets. However, the attraction of bricks and mortar stores
complemented by unique experiential offerings continue to draw customers to our retail landscapes. To
ensure that online lives together with the physical store, L2D is developing a seamless customer journey that
will retain and grow our customer base. This is referred to as Noline, the merging of online shopping with
bricks and mortar retailing in collaboration with tenants.

Building blocks
The continued implementation of the L2D strategic building blocks will provide impetus to the execution of
our strategy.

Retail trading update as at 30 June 2019
The table below details the annualised trading density and annualised trading density growth of the various
assets within the L2D portfolio. Further to this, a comparison is made to the Clur Benchmark for annualised
trading density. Annualised trading density is impacted by changes in both the turnover and as well as
trading GLA of the retail centres.

                                      Annualised          Annualised                Clur              Centre
                                  trading density     trading density         Benchmark              vs. Clur
                                       to June 19     growth June 19           June 2019          Benchmark
                                                                 (%)                                      (%)
Trading density
Sandton City                                57 563                  7.9             37 628                53.0
Nelson Mandela Square                       57 770                  6.5             34 984                65.1
Eastgate Shopping Centre                    36 587                (1.1)           33 983?1                 7.7
Liberty Midlands Mall (excl.                38 279                (0.2)             34 984                 9.4
LC)
Liberty Promenade Mall                      41 064                  2.8             34 984                17.4
Botshabelo Mall                             31 423                11.2                 n/a                 n/a
Portfolio (excl. LC and MA)                 44 892                  3.3             34 777                29.1
Melrose Arch                                28 295                  3.5             34 984               -19.1
 Midlands Mall Lifestyle Centre        18 439                       n/a                n/a                 n/a
1 Clur Super Regional Benchmark excluding Sandton City.
• The overall annualised trading density growth of the portfolio excluding Melrose Arch (MA) and Midlands
  Lifestyle Centre (LC) was 3.3% as at the end of June 2019. This is a continued improvement from the
  December 2018 performance of 2.9% and June 2018 of 2.8% over the same asset pool.
• The LC is excluded from the statistics as it has not completed 24 months of trading in order to derive an
  annual growth rate.
• Trading densities across most centres have shown considerable improvement with Sandton City and
  Botshabelo reporting significant growth of 7.9% and 11.2% respectively. Nelson Mandela Square has
  shown a substantial turnaround with 6.5% growth vs. -1.3% and -4.7% for December 2018 and June
  2018 respectively.
• This positive performance has been evident at a turnover level as well with the portfolio (excluding LC
  and MA) generating turnover growth of 4.4% for the 12 months to June 2019.
• The L2D retail portfolio continues to outperform the Clur Benchmark in terms of annualised trading
  density with Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square posting a significant positive variance to the
  benchmark.
• Eastgate shopping centre is compared to the Super Regional benchmark excluding Sandton City to
  remove the impact of significantly higher trading density of Sandton City which skews the benchmark.
  When Sandton City is excluded from the super-regional benchmark, Eastgate’s annualised trading
  density of R36 587/m 2 is 7.7% higher than the adjusted benchmark for the annual trading density of the
  super-regionals of R33 983/m 2.

Continued investment in maintenance capex
Continuous enhancements to our retail and office environments are core to our ability to attract and retain
tenants as well as draw consumers to our retail centres. This is evident in that we have spent on average
2.2% of the value of the portfolio on maintenance capex over a five year period (2014 – 2018). The capex
spend has further contributed to the value of the portfolio. This compares favourably to the MSCI Universe
Benchmark of 1.5%.

Vacancy update
• The overall portfolio vacancy rate of 4.6% is largely attributable to the office sector. The retail vacancy as
  at July 2019 is 2.3%, this is a marginal improvement vs. the 2.4% vacancy rate reported as at June 2019.
  This remains well ahead of the SAPOA Q1 2019 retail vacancy of 4.2%. The overall office vacancy rate of
  9.8%, also remains ahead of the SAPOA Q2 2019 office vacancy of 11.3%. The vacancy rate reduces
  including pre-let deals that will begin trading shortly. This is due to further leasing in both the retail and
  office sectors. Sandton City’s vacancy rate remains low at 0.6% dropping to 0.5% after including pre-let
  deals.
• The overall vacancy rates as well as the vacancy rates including pre-let deals are presented in the table
  below.

%                                        Portfolio               Retail             Office        Specialised
June 2019
Overall vacancy rate                            4.6                 2.4                9.8                 0.0
Pre-let vacancy rate                            4.3                 2.1                9.2                 0.0
July 2019
Overall vacancy rate                            4.6                 2.3                9.8                 0.0
Pre-let vacancy rate                            3.9                 1.5                8.9                 0.0



Further leasing initiatives
L2D’s retail centres continue to attract a wide range of exciting new tenants. The following are some of the
new tenancies that have been secured for trading in the second half of the year. These new brands enhance
the tenant mix of the respective centres and cater to the demand of their customers.
• Sandton City — Mango, Daniel Wellington, African Bank, Hydraulics AvantGarde, Capitec Bank,
  Flagship Sportscene, new Wimpy
• Nelson Mandela Square — Out of Africa, Watch Avenue, Moreschi Shoes, Mayur Indian Restaurant
• Eastgate — Flagship Cotton On, DMF, larger footprint Rage, new Mr Price Home, new Shesha with
  Hoops Lounge
• Midlands Mall — Fabiani, Sneaker Factory, Archive, RAIN Pop up, Mr Price expansion, Liberty Office
• Promenade — Soundmatch, Cross Trainer Kids
• Botshabelo — Sterns, Nedbank, Gadget Candy, London Keys, Assupol

With the re-launch of the renovated Checkers Hyper, Sandton City will also unveil brand new line stores
together with an exclusive baby care facility called The Baby Care Lounge. This state-of-the-art facility
includes breastfeeding booths, food warming facilities, nappy change stations and a kids play area. The new
line stores launching include Capitec Bank, My Cotton Tree, a relocated and revamped Wimpy and
Sportscene’s flagship store. The new Sportscene’s flagship store brings several experiential offerings to
Sandton City including a basketball court, a DJ booth and a tattoo parlour.

Cotton On is relocating in Eastgate Shopping Centre to open their new flagship store which will be their
second largest store in South Africa. This new offering will showcase their latest look and feel fitout in a 2
500m2 store. Cotton On will occupy a portion of the space previously used by Edgars. Mr Price Home and
Rage will occupy the rest of the space vacated by Edcon. These shops will be open and ready to trade by
Q4 2019.

Liberty Group has entered into a lease agreement with Midlands Lifestyle Centre to occupy 758m 2 of space
for their regional office. The commencement date is set for 1 October 2019 and Liberty will occupy 4% of the
Lifestyle Centre GLA.

Top 5 retail tenant exposure
As at 31 July 2019, the portfolio exposure to the top 5 retail tenants in terms of portfolio GLA is as follows:


                                                                                Retail GLA       Portfolio GLA
                                                                              exposure (%)       exposure (%)
Tenant
Woolworths                                                                               9.2                  4.9
Edcon                                                                                    8.2                  4.4
The Foschini Group                                                                       5.5                  2.9
Shoprite Checkers                                                                        5.3                  2.8
Massmart                                                                                 3.8                  2.1



The Edcon exposure above includes c. 5 600m 2 of GLA that has been given back at Eastgate. Edcon will
pay rental on this space until the end of 2019. Edcon’s exposure will reduce below 4% of the portfolio GLA
when the new tenants start trading.

We continue to engage with our key tenants, on both a strategic and operational level.

Conclusion
The resilience of the L2D portfolio is evident in the annualised trading density and turnover growth generated
which continues to gain momentum evidenced by comparing June 2018 to June 2019. While the portfolio’s
vacancy rates have remained in line with May 2019, leasing strategies and engagements with prospective
tenants are well underway which has resulted in the reduction in the vacancy rate including pre-lets. L2D has
continued to deliver on the five building blocks initiated at the beginning of the year. Several initiatives have
successfully been implemented with further strategies in the pipeline to ensure L2D is ready for the ever
changing retail environment.

This Operational Update is also available at:

https://www.liberty2degrees.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/L2D-Operational-Update-13Sep2019.pdf



Johannesburg
13 September 2019

Corporate information
Liberty Two Degrees Limited
Date of registration: 10 July 2018
JSE share code: L2D
ISIN: ZAE000260576
(Approved as a REIT by the JSE)
(Liberty Two Degrees or L2D)

Registered Office
17 Melrose Boulevard
Melrose Arch
Johannesburg, 2196
Gauteng
(PO Box 202, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, 2076)

Investor Relations
Gareth Rees
Email address: investors@liberty2degrees.co.za

Company Secretary
Ben Swanepoel
Contact information
Telephone: +27 11 448 5500
Email: info@liberty2degrees.co.za
www.liberty2degrees.co.za

Auditors
PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.
Waterfall City
4 Lisbon Lane
Jukskei View
Midrand
2090
(Private Bag X36, Sunnighill, 2157)

Sponsor
The Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd
(Registration number: 1962/000738/06)
30 Baker Street, Rosebank, 2196
PO Box 61344, Marshalltown, 2107
Tel: +27 11 721 6125

Date: 13/09/2019 12:11:00
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