Secrecy order of day at Green Reit

Performance fee for property gurus not disclosed

Stephen Vernon (left) and Pat Gunn, outsource their services to Green Reit. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Stephen Vernon (left) and Pat Gunn, outsource their services to Green Reit. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Spare a thought for property gurus Stephen Vernon, Pat Gunne and others who outsource their services to Green Reit, the real estate investment trust they floated just over three years ago.

Their company, Green Property Reit Ventures Ltd, with eight executive directors, saw its performance fee from Green Reit fall by a third to €13.9 million in the year to June, it reported this week, as the rate of growth in the value of net assets slowed.

However, followers of the company have been deprived of the amusement of finding out who got what, as the management takes place outside the publicly quoted company.

By contrast, rival Hibernia Reit, headed by chief executive Kevin Nowlan, decided last year to “internalise” management of the company. While this resulted in Reit paying €21.1 million to the owners of the management company, Nowlan Property Ltd, we will, in future, get a picture of what directors are taking in.

We can only hope that Green Reit follows suit.

Still, Merrion Capital, for one, was a fan of Green Reit’s full-year results, which saw earnings per share, measured by standards set out by the European Public Real Estate Association (Epra), surge by 131 per cent.

The group, which now has a market value of almost €1 billion, has proposed a 188 per cent dividend rise, to 4.6 cents per share.

That is equivalent to a 3.1 per cent dividend yield, more than double the average 1.8 per cent yield on the Iseq at the moment.

Raising his rating on the stock to a buy yesterday, Merrion analyst Darren McKinley noted that the company has made a 75 per cent profit on four properties it had flipped in the first half, has slashed the interest rate on its debt to 1.9 per cent to 2.8 per cent and increased rents across a number of properties.

The lower management performance fee should also please investors, he says.

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