Centuria’s Alternative Assets Expand Group AUM to $21.2bn7 February 2023
Australasian real estate fund manager, Centuria Capital Group has delivered strong interim results for the first half of the 2023 financial year, underpinned by organic growth across its real estate platform, particularly within alternative sectors, and strong capital management.
Within the six months to 31 December 2022, Centuria expanded its agricultural assets by 20% to more than $420million, with growth largely attributed to the unlisted Centuria Agriculture Fund (CAF). Since FY22, Centuria has become Australia’s largest single owner of major glasshouses with $247million of glasshouses assets across 53.5-hectares.
Centuria Bass Credit (CBC), the Group’s real estate finance division, significantly increased its AUM 38% to more than $1.1billion, highlighting the growing demand for non-bank finance as traditional lenders tighten their lending criteria. CBC launched four single asset funds worth more than $76million and its open-ended Centuria Bass Credit Fund (CBCF) loan book grew to $50million, encompassing 21 diversified positions during the period.
Centuria also increased its healthcare platform 3% to $1.7billion.
Throughout HY23, Centuria’s Group Assets Under Management (AUM) increased to $21.2billion comprising $20.4billion of real estate funds with unlisted AUM increasing to $13.9billion alongside $6.5billion of listed AUM.
Jason Huljich, Centuria Joint CEO, said, “Throughout HY23, Centuria has delivered on its commitment to expand across alternative real estate sectors, which has contributed to our strong organic growth within the unlisted platform. This expansion was strongly supported by Centuria’s broad, direct investor network comprising individuals, advisers, private wealth managers and, most significantly, across institutional mandates and partnerships. During the period, institutional capital commitments increased 11% to $2.1billion.”
Centuria’s gross real estate activity of $1.0billion was secured across $616million of real estate acquisitions and $349million of real estate lending during HY23. Additionally, $369million of acquisitions that were exchanged in FY22 were settled in HY23.
Record transactions executed throughout FY22 provided sustainable management fee revenue in HY23, which increased 13% to $73.2million. Contributing performance fees of $14.6million were in line with expectation. Overall, operating recurring revenues reflected 91% of total revenues (HY22: 87%).
John McBain, Centuria Joint CEO, said, “Throughout the past six months we have maintained a healthy balance sheet, continued our platform expansion into alternative sectors and re-affirmed our forecast earning and distribution guidance, despite high inflation and increased interest rates normalising from pandemic emergency levels.
“Centuria has a proven track record for applying a disciplined approach during times of great volatility. We have recently entered the agriculture and credit markets, examples of alternative sectors with strong investor demand. We are also in a good position to take advantage of value-add market opportunities when they arise, delivering attractive returns to our securityholders.”
Centuria’s total operating revenue increased 15% to $159.7million while Operating Profit After Tax (NAT) was maintained at $58.5million during HY23.
Capital management initiatives resulted in available cash and undrawn debt of $248million, an operating gearing ratio of 17% and operating interest cover ratio of 5.4x times. Credit approval was secured for a new $50million debt facility on a five-year term to replace current debt. Centuria’s balance sheet is positioned to capitalise on further growth opportunities and benefits from increased funding optionality, access to new debt instruments, along with ample headroom to debt covenants.
CNI delivered OEPS of 7.4 cents per security (cps) and declared a distribution of 5.8cps for the period.