Investa beats FY guidance

Says poor demand driven by political uncertainty, weak confidence.

Investa property group says that business confidence is weak and investment in property has been delayed due to political uncertainty in describing demand for prime office space as below average and demand for secondary office space as “the worst on record.”

The company delivered a 56% gain in full year statutory net profit to $158.7 million for the year, which included a $60 million of asset revaluation. Operating earnings were up 7% to $137.5 million.

Earnings per share came in at 22.4 cents per unit for the full year, above its upgraded forecast for 22.2 cents.

The group undertook $440 million in acquisitions over the year including 66 St Georges Terrace in Perth and 567 Collins St in Melbourne and was on track to offload European assets.

Investa said it focused on debt management and derisking over the year, with $400 million of debt refinanced.

The company forecasts funds from operations for 2013-14 to be up 6% to 26.5 cents, above estimates for 23 cents. It sees distribution at 18.5 cents for the same period.