Mashonaland Holdings to venture in retail development.

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Gamuchirai Tsokota

Listed property investment and development firm, Mashonaland Holdings (Mash Holdings) will explore the acquisition of strategic retail land banks for portfolio diversification and growth despite the depression in the property market, its managing director said.

Gibson Mapfidza the company`s managing director said the company seeks to dilute the central business district concentration through new developments in emerging retail and office park corridors.

“The company also seeks to diversify its revenue streams through leveraging on internal skills and systems so s to embark on third party business. The company is in the process of acquiring the requisite licenses to delve into third business” he said at an annual general meeting today.

In the four months to January, the firm recorded $ 1,1 million  operating profit which was 47 percent higher than the same period  last year and 22 percent above budget.

Mash Holdings managed to attract a few tenants but has not been able to completely fill in the space left by the voids.

The company experienced a decrease in voids to 24 percent as of 31 January which is now at 22 percent following the occupation of the ZB Centre floor by ZIMRA from 29 percent in the same period last year.

He added that the major contributors to the void were Charter house contributing 78 percent and Rhodesville contributing 100 percent.

“The Charter House  high void level is to a larger extent attributable to the obsolete design and poor functionality of the building space to current occupiers’ space requirements” he said.

Generally, the highest vacancy levels were in the Harare office sector as businesses is currently experiencing out migration due to a number of causes including congestion and pollution. 

However, the company has drafted strategies to ensure that business booms in the central business district which comprises of portfolio performance optimisation, diversification and good corporate governance.

The firm’s revenue in the four-month period was at $1,68million which was seven percent above the same period last year at $ 1,5 million prior year`s but three percent  below budget.

Their year to date property expenses are slightly above $311 thousand which is 23 percent lower than year  and 30 percent below budget.