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RMH shares surge as it cuts half-year loss by 74 percent

RMB Holding’s (RMH) share price rose by more than 18 percent on the JSE on Friday after the investment holding company reduced its loss by 74 percent for the six months to end December. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

RMB Holding’s (RMH) share price rose by more than 18 percent on the JSE on Friday after the investment holding company reduced its loss by 74 percent for the six months to end December. Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg

Published Mar 23, 2021

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DURBAN - RMB Holding’s (RMH) share price rose by more than 18 percent on the JSE on Friday after the investment holding company reduced its loss by 74 percent for the six months to end December.

The share closed at R1.66.

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Its loss after tax from continuing operation improved to R45 million, down from R176m compared to last year and the group said the biggest contributor to this performance was the elimination of funding costs as all debt was settled as part of the RMH unbundling.

Last year the funding costs amounted to R139m.

RMH, which unbundled its 34 percent stake in financial services group FirstRand last year, was left with its property portfolio.

The group said the operating performance of the underlying RMH Property investees was pleasing, despite the depressed economic environment as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Covid-19, continued lockdowns and the resultant muted macro-economic growth in the countries in which RMH operates through the RMH Property portfolio companies continued to be factors in the financial results for the six months to end December,” the group said.

However, the group’s net asset value was resilient and declined by only 4 percent to R4.76 billion, down from R4.96bn at the end of June, with the decline driven by the strengthening of the rand against the euro during the period.

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RMH currently holds a 27.5 percent stake in Atterbury, a 37.5 percent in Atterbury Europe, a 20.3 percent in Divercity and various holdings in Integer Properties.

Revenue from continuing operations fell by 83 percent to R48m and headline loss from continuing operations improved by 97 percent to 0.4 cents a share compared to a loss of 12.8c reported a year earlier.

The group said it would not declare a dividend in the medium term.

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“RMH Property only expects to start receiving dividends once the capital structures of its portfolio companies are sufficiently de-leveraged over the next three to five years, at which point an appropriate dividend policy will be formulated by RMH,” the group said.

Looking ahead, the group said all the countries where RMH Property has a presence are at differing stages of emerging from lockdowns and restrictions introduced as a result of continuing waves of the Covid-19 pandemic but the possibility of subsequent waves remains high.

“The pace of the vaccine rollout for South Africa and emerging markets will be slower than that of the developed markets and, although some economic recovery has been experienced in Southern Africa, market sentiment remains negative and we expect this to delay the recovery of the Southern African property sector to preCovid-19 levels,” the group said.

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However, RMH has noted the good progress made with vaccine roll-out programmes in Serbia, Romania and Cyprus, which will assist the recovery and outlook for medium-term performance.

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