REI tops milestone of £50 million in dividends

Real Estate Investors (REI), the UK’s only Midlands-focused Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), has reached a milestone with its 2023 results.

The Birmingham AIM-listed business has now paid and declared £50.6 million to shareholders since the commencement of its dividend policy in 2012, to include a final 2023 dividend of 0.625p.

During the year to 31 December 2023, REI completed sales totalling £17.97 million, with a further £1 million since the year end.

The company has continued its successful debt repayment programme of £17.1 million, with a further £2.7 million paid off since the year end, reducing total drawn down debt to £51.7 million.

REI, to 31 December 2023, had a portfolio of £145.5 million with a net gearing of 32.4%.

The results show underlying profits of £4.5 million but with a pre-tax loss of £9.4 million, which chief executive Paul Bassi said was due to market sentiment, yield shifts and portfolio valuation decline.

He said: “Despite a backdrop of negative market sentiment, higher interest rates and political instability, coupled with very low levels of property transactions, we have secured excellent sales, and reduced our debt significantly whilst paying a covered dividend.

“Having finalised and announced our strategic plan in January 2024, our priority is to continue disposing of assets and maximising returns to shareholders, within the three-year timeframe.”

Rent collection levels across the year remained robust with overall rent collection for 2023 of 99.82%, while revenue for the year was £11.5 million.

A major letting contracted to complete in April 2024 will improve existing occupancy to 85.91% and boost contracted rental income to £11.2 million per annum, subject to sales and other lease activity.

Mr Bassi added: “We have additional pipeline sales in legals, and healthy pipeline lettings of £803,107 gross per annum.

“We will continue to capitalise on ongoing demand for smaller lot sizes from private investors and special purchasers. We will be holding our larger assets for income until corporate and institutional buyers return to the market.

“In the meantime, the business is operationally robust, and we will continue intensively managing assets to maximise income and reduce vacancy levels.

“The company announced in January 2024 that due to the persistent and substantial discount between share price and NAV, it would be conducting a three-year strategic sale of portfolio assets, with receipts from disposals used to pay down debt and return cash to shareholders.

“We are committed to maximising shareholder returns, while remaining open to individual asset sales or a corporate transaction that is in the best interest of shareholders.

“In the meantime, we are focused on further sales and a full repayment of our debt, with the Board’s intention to continue paying a fully covered quarterly dividend.”

Ends (450 words)

For further information, please contact:

Paul Bassi, Chief Executive,

Real Estate Investors plc, 2nd Floor, 75/77 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2AP

0121 265 6406 or 0121 212 3446

www.reiplc.com

Prepared and issued by Steve Dyson at ASAP – mobile 0781 8004575

About Real Estate Investors Plc

Real Estate Investors Plc is a publicly quoted, internally managed property investment company and REIT with a portfolio of mixed-use commercial property, managed by a highly-experienced property team with over 100 years of combined experience of operating in the Midlands property market across all sectors.

The Company’s strategy is to invest in well located, real estate assets in the established and proven markets across the Midlands, with income and capital growth potential, realisable through active portfolio management, refurbishment, change of use and lettings.  The portfolio has no material reliance on a single asset or occupier.

On 1st January 2015, the Company converted to a REIT.  Real Estate Investment Trusts are listed property investment companies or groups not liable to corporation tax on their rental income or capital gains from their qualifying activities.  The Company aims to deliver capital growth and income enhancement from its assets, supporting its dividend policy.  Further information on the Company can be found at www.reiplc.com.