'Pretty arrows, but what's happened to my dividend?'
The last questioner at the Kiwi Income Property annual meeting in Christchurch today posed the complaint directors didn’t want to hear.
The shareholder rose and complimented the directors on the well-choreographed presentation which chairman Mark Ford earlier noted had won a communications award.
While the shareholder said he had enjoyed seeing all the indicator arrows on the powerpoint presentation pointing upwards to represent positive growth, he asked why had returns been going down over the past couple of years.
There were many reasons, Mr Ford replied. There had been a recession. Rents and values had fallen, albeit they were now steadying.
The earthquake-damaged PricewaterhouseCoopers Centre in central Christchurch had been a high-yielding property which was no longer contributing rent and had required a write-down in the books of $34 million – a $69 million insurance payout had been applied to reduce debt, Mr Ford said.
A fellow director also reminded shareholders of the depreciation tax changes which accounted for 5% of the reduced earnings.
Mr Ford, when asked, was guarded about Kiwi Income re-establishing in the Christchurch city centre. Anyway, the site of the PWC centre was designated for entertainment under the government rebuild plan and is likely to be compulsorily acquired.
Mr Ford also fielded a question from a Hamilton Greene sharebroker who asked if Kiwi Income would pay dividends quarterly rather than half-yearly.
He said it would be considered but there would be a cost to cashflow.
The presentation largely followed the annual report – available on the company website – with emphasis on Kiwi’s higher weighting on retail sector investments and focus on the upper North Island, where population growth was strongest.
Mr Ford says the company is on track for a 7c per unit dividend distribution in the current financial year.