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ISSUE 66(FREE READ)

WESTPROP DEFIES CHALLENGES TO RECORD IMPROVED Q1 SALES

WestProp Holdings, a Zimbabwean property development company listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX), navigated a challenging economic climate in the first quarter of 2024 with positive results, according to local media reports. Despite a surge in inflation and exchange rate volatility, the company achieved an 11.54% increase in revenue compared to the same period last year. This growth, reaching US$7 million, was driven largely by strong sales at their Pokugara Residential Estate Townhouses, which contributed 72% of the total revenue.

While operational resilience was evident in the sales figures, there was a corresponding rise in operating expenses (26.97%) to US$1.36 million. This increase, according to Group Finance Director Simbarashe Kadye, reflects the company’s strategic expansion in preparation for upcoming developments scheduled to launch later in the year.

Despite the expense increase, WestProp still managed an operating profit of US$1.6 million, although this figure did represent a 14.3% decrease compared to the same quarter in 2023. This decline is attributed primarily to the aforementioned rise in expenses, but Mr. Kadye anticipates this trend to eventually align with the company’s projected sales growth target of US$50 million by the end of the fourth quarter.

Looking beyond the first quarter results, WestProp’s land bank holdings also showed positive signs. A market valuation placed the aggregate fair value at US$250.9 million, reflecting a 12.32% increase from the previous year. This appreciation highlights the ongoing value proposition of the company’s land assets.

WestProp is further solidifying its future prospects with several significant projects planned throughout 2024. Two multi-billion-dollar developments, Pomona City and The Hills, are at the forefront of this initiative. While The Hills is still in the planning and implementation phase with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for the second quarter, construction is already underway on civil works and a US$10 million upgrade of the associated golf course.

The company is also set to launch its Millenium Heights development alongside the state-of-the-art Gatehouse in the second quarter, with Block 3 of the latter project slated for handover in the following quarter. This diversified project pipeline demonstrates WestProp’s commitment to growth across various segments of the property market.

WestProp’s leadership team expresses confidence that the company’s diversified portfolio and strategic initiatives position it well to capitalize on emerging opportunities within the Zimbabwean market. This optimism is further underscored by the company’s decision to declare a dividend of US$857,143 for the first quarter, demonstrating a commitment to shareholder value alongside its expansion plans.

Picture from: https://www.newsday.co.zw/business/article/200028107/westprop-declares-us857k-dividend-from-q1-operations

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