WESTERN Australian-based property group Aspen Group Limited has announced a half-yearly net profit before tax of $1.71 million coming off the back of $6.06 million in revenue.
Driving the strong performance of the listed group was last year’s acquisition of the Alcoa Head Office Complex and Elders Woolstores, bought for $35.5 million, which was a record for industrial sales in WA. Assets under management and property portfolio now total about $100 million.
Shareholders received a total of $1.69 million in dividends for the half-year, delivering a yield of 9.25 per cent, in line with forecasts made in the group’s June 2003 prospectus.
Aspen Group managing director Angelo Del Borrello said the Alcoa and Elders acquisitions provided a substantial revenue and earnings base to underpin Aspen’s operations into the future.
Mr Del Borrello said the two acquisitions represented annual revenue of $5.28 million for Aspen, providing strong cash flow and an excellent return on those assets.
“Aspen Group is committed to providing its shareholders with a solid property investment company that is focused on return on equity and increasing dividends payable on a quarterly basis,” he said.
Aspen Group plans to create a $300 million property portfolio over the next two years. Mr Del Borrello said the company was aiming to acquire between $70 million and $100 million of assets over the next 12 months.
In addition to the Alcoa Head office and Elders Woolstore, Aspen Group owns Septimus Roe Square, Champion Drive Shopping Centre and the Midland Cinema and Food Court Complex, which is currently on the market.
Mr Del Borrello said that, while WA’s property market was still on Aspen’s ‘radar’, the group was concentrating on creating a geographic spread of assets.
“We are focusing on the east coast particularly Sydney and Queensland,” he said.
Mr Del Borrello said he expected to see the office market tighten this year in WA, while the retail and industrial sectors would continue to perform well.
Aspen Group is expected to announce the details of a number of property related theme trusts next month.