By Alois Vinga
ZIMRE Properties has set aside a total of $30 million dividend pay-out for shareholders.
ZIMRE chairperson, Benjamin Kumalo said the move is in line with the company’s dividend policy and comes after careful consideration of its level of profitability and reserves, the Covid-19 lockdown, and associated risks to business growth.
“The directors have found it prudent to declare a dividend of $30 million, which despite being below the company’s expected dividend policy of two and half times cover, is a result of the directors’ recognition of the need for frequent dividend distributions particularly in the prevailing domestic economic environment,” he said.
The dividend notice was published on 28 June 2021 in accordance with the company’s Articles of Association and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listing requirements.
Meanwhile, during the period ended December 31, 2020, the group’s total income of $2,8 billion grew by 11% over the $2,5 billion achieved in the same period in 2019.
On a historical cost basis, total income increased by 584% from $0,6 billion in 2019 to $4,4 billion in 2020 attributed to growth in premium income in neighbouring Mozambique and Botswana as the units consolidated their respective market positions.
ZIMRE Holdings has a vast business portfolio in insurance and property in Zimbabwe and the Southern Africa region.
During the period under review, the group’s Zimbabwean operations were hampered by hyperinflation which peaked at over 800%, and Covid-19 lockdown which disrupted economic activity leading to an 8% contraction of the economy in 2020.
The growth in rental income was attributed to the coming on stream of property space with high rental yield and the upward reviews of rentals as well as property revaluation gains following the change of functional currency.
Added Kumalo: “2021 is expected to be another challenging year given the worldwide resurgence of Covid-19 cases and the emergence of new variants. The rollout of vaccines is expected to assist in containing the spread and to mitigate the negative effects of the virus on economic activity.”