Nepi seeks new markets in Europe

Johannesburg – Listed New Europe Property Investments (Nepi), which has a strong presence in the Romanian property market, expects to enter new markets in central and eastern Europe this year.

Nepi chief executive Alexandru Morar said yesterday that the company was actively pursuing opportunities in other central and eastern European countries where it did not yet have a presence.

Morar said Nepi was well-positioned for further growth given its established platform despite more competition arising partly from high liquidity.

Nepi is a commercial property investor and developer listed on the JSE, the Bucharest Stock Exchange and the Alternative Investment Market in London.

Its property portfolio at end-December was valued at e1.83 billion (R33.1bn), comprising 13 retail and four office assets in Romania, two shopping centres and one commercial office in Slovakia and a shopping centre in Serbia.

Yesterday Nepi reported a 19 percent growth in distributable earnings in the year to December from the year before.

Morar attributed the growth in distributable earnings to the continuing strong performance of Nepi’s assets, the positive impact of acquisitions and developments completed during the year and the favourable funding arrangement with the minority shareholder of Mega Mall in Bucharest in Romania.

Mega Mall is the group’s largest development to date. It began trading in the first half of Nepi’s 2015 financial year.

Morar said the group had steadily increased its investment in developments and completed developments and redevelopments in the past five years had significantly contributed to the growth in distributable earnings a share.

Nepi’s development pipeline, including redevelopments and extensions, rose year on year by e54 million to about e601m in December, of which e145m had already been spent by December.

Nepi shares fell 0.79 percent to R175 on the JSE yesterday.