Just like many other Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) listed companies, including those in the property sector, RDC Properties is taking its business to regional markets. RDC, which owns the iconic Masa Square Centre located in the new CBD in Gaborone, announced this week that developments are already underway in Namibia while plans are also at an advanced stage to make acquisitions in Mozambique. In Namibia, the company says development plans have kicked off for three shopping malls with additional locations said to be already identified for more developments. Construction for the three new sites is scheduled to start within the next six months based in three different locations. Besides the two named countries, RDC Properties is also in the process of acquiring a controlling stake in a Cape Town-based commercial property portfolio in South Africa. The shares are to be issued to RDC in the portfolio and cash used for further acquisitions in South Africa focusing mainly in South Africa. The acquisition is expected to increase the group’s portfolio value, provide an international footprint and increase its distribution yield. Though the company has its attention on regional diversification this – according to Executive Chairman Guido Giachetti – does not mean the company is abandoning the local market. The company is currently developing residential flats in Gaborone which are expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2018. The flats are being developed at a tune of around P40 million and will have 45 brand new apartments.
Despite the property market coming under pressure in recent times due to emergence of new developments, RDC Properties – one of the six listed property companies at the BSE – has announced an increase in profits for the half year period. Rental income went up by five percent to P43.9 million amidst challenges in the commercial property market. The growth in rental is said to have been driven by rental renewals and lease escalations as well as exceptional performance of Chobe Marina Lodge is Kasane where the lease is linked to the revenue of the lodge. RDC says key tourism areas in Botswana are performing well but the Gaborone hospitality market is said to be under pressure which impacted on the revenues of Masa Square Hotel. The hotel however is believed to be a destination of choice for travellers to the city, with the hotel reported to be top of its peers when it comes to occupancies and revenues per available room.