New entrant into the highly competitive property and asset management said it is looking at expanding its footprint into other African countries. This will make Letlole La Rona, a Botswana Development Corporations subsidiary, to become one of the few listed companies to expand operations outside the country.Chief Executive Officer Dimitri Kokinos said his company has set itself an ambitious target of expanding its portfolio by over 100 percent in a period of “three to five years.”
Currently, Letlole portfolio is valued at P450 million but an upbeat Kokinos said they are looking at doubling it to exceed P800 million. Letlole’s current portfolio comprises 42 percent of leisure properties, particularly in the hospitality sector such as the BDC owned Cresta hospitality.
It further comprises 40 percent of industrial properties, of which 18 percent include commercial and retail properties. However, Kokinos was of the view that Botswana’s commercial market is increasingly becoming saturated thus dwindling prospects of commercial viability.
“This is why we have decided to look into the African market for expansion. We are looking to make valuable acquisitions in countries like South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, to boost our portfolio,” he said. Further, Kokinos, who has been roped into the company’s top post six months ago to improve its profitability, said he has viable strategies up his sleeves to improve Letlole’s balance sheet and even give shareholders a satisfactory turnover.
“We want acquisitions in order to achieve benchmark weightings and diversify the portfolio, and then gear the portfolio in order to finance future acquisitions,” revealed Kokinos adding that it would create long-term sustainable income growth and distributions. Kokinos was speaking at the company’s full year financial results presentation for the year ended 30 June 2011. Letlole income, which exceeded target by 9 percent bulked up to P42 million.
Further, profit before taxation stood at P80 million, consequently resulting in total comprehensive income for the year of P67 million. This was attributable to the 100 percent occupancy of the company’s property, with its rental income also surpassing expectations by a significant margin of 21 percent.The company attributed this improvement to “proactive and strategic management.”