Acorn Investment Management Limited (AIML) has recorded a net profit of Sh855 million for its Acorn Student Accommodation Income REIT (ASA I-REIT) and the Acorn Student Accommodation Development REIT (ASA D-REIT) for the year ended December 2022.
The ASA REITs continued to grow as the ASA I-REIT made the fourth dividend pay-out to shareholders in two years of Sh192.5 million compared to Sh169.6 million in 2021.
AIML is the entity behind Qwetu and Qejani student hostels.
The growth showed how REITs provide steady growth and consistent performance ideal for long-term institutional investors and retail individuals seeking safe wealth accumulation.
The ASA I-REIT recorded a 21.3 per cent growth in rental income for the year ended December 2022 to post Sh442 million compared to Sh334 million in 2021.
Similarly, the comprehensive income for the year grew by 19.4 per cent to Sh505 million compared to Sh387 million in the previous year.
The strong occupancy through the operational properties, rent escalation and optimized operational efficiency drove up the profitability recorded.
This was also propelled by the scaling up of the portfolio after Acorn acquired two new assets (Qwetu Parklands and Qwetu Aberdare Heights).
AIML achieved this stellar performance despite the disruption to the 2022 academic calendar, which saw the May intake fail for a number of universities across Kenya.
The ASA D-REIT achieved a total comprehensive income of Sh349.7 million in 2022, a reduction from Sh776 million in 2021 mainly due to IFRS requirements on treatment of fair market gains and interest expense.
The REIT achieved Sh1.125 billion in accumulated profits in the first two years since it was established putting it in a strong position to pay future dividends.
The ASA D-REIT also completed two additional properties in 2022 and commenced the construction of two new properties at JKUAT and Hurlingham in Nairobi.
“2022 was not without its headwinds and this was evidenced by the overall performance of the capital markets. The ASA REITs nevertheless exhibited strong growth despite the challenging environment, which speaks volumes to the rationale for investing in REITs, which offer a consistent and predictable return profile – after all, we are announcing our fourth straight dividend from the ASA I-REIT,” said AIML Managing Director Raghav Gandhi.
He added, “Our focus during the past year was to lay the foundations for future growth and this included the validation of the investment thesis through the scaling up of the ASA REITs and the first milestone transaction between the ASA D-REIT and the ASA I-REIT.”
Gandhi expressed optimism the foundation laid by Acorn Investment Management Limited in 2022 will holds the entity in good stead for the next phase of projected further growth.