Raven Property Group (formerly Raven Russia) invests mainly in Class A warehouses in Russia. It also owns three office buildings in St Petersburg, a third-party logistics company in Russia and a residential development company in the UK.
H119 saw further operational and strategic progress amidst an improving trading environment. Leasing progress is maintaining improved levels of occupancy (average of 90% in H119) and rental income grew with the indexation of rouble-denominated rents and a full period contribution from 2018 acquisitions. Property values increased in roubles and more so in sterling, with a c 10% increase in the value of the rouble versus sterling during H119 (and only partly retraced since). NAV per share rose 40% to 67p and the effect of subsequent share repurchases from Woodford Investment Management and Invesco Asset Management will have been to lift this further while eliminating any perceived stock overhang. Shareholder distributions are continuing (an interim distribution of 1.25p per share was made in November by way of a tender offer buyback of one share in every 44 at 55p) while the shares trade at an unusually wide discount to NAV.
Russian economic growth continues but at a slower pace. With inflation falling faster than expected interest rates have fallen to the lowest level since 2014. A continuing positive demand-supply balance is forecast in the warehouse sector, a positive indicator for rents and vacancy.