A year of milestones
December 24, 2015
The 2015 year has seen a number of significant milestones in the evolution of Sentinel.
Geographically, we have further strengthened our presence in key regional locations, in particular North Queensland and western New South Wales. We also made our first acquisition on the Gold Coast, our first in Western Australia, and secured our second property in the Victorian market.
By sector, the retail market has remained a major focus and we have reinforced our leading position among Australian fund managers in this sector with the acquisition of eight new retail properties nationally in the second half of 2015.
Our retail holdings are predominantly neighbourhood style shopping centres and large format retail homemaker centres as well as other strategic retail investments, such as the recent purchase of a freestanding Big W in Atherton, North Queensland.
The industrial sector is another key area of our expansion, and we continue to focus on well-located industrial properties on substantial landholdings with future development potential.
In the office sector, Sentinel this year made its largest acquisition by value, and first on the Gold Coast, with the $70 million purchase of ‘The Rocket’ tower at Robina. This landmark asset is ideally positioned to benefit from the massive new wave of investment fueling the Gold Coast property and tourism industries.
Another key acquisition this year was our purchase of the Port of Airlie Maritime Terminal in North Queensland. This irreplaceable piece of tourism infrastructure at the gateway to The Whitsundays provides exposure to the resurgent tourism sector in one of the country’s most iconic and popular tourist destinations.
Similar to our expansion into tourism infrastructure, Sentinel is also spreading its wings into the agribusiness sector with the acquisition of a major poultry property at Ipswich leased to Australia’s largest poultry producing company. Again, our targeted entry into this new sector demonstrates our commitment to always ‘staying ahead of the pack’.
As well as identifying new property acquisitions, Sentinel also continues to investigate opportunities for strategic divestment and recently completed its fourth asset sale, a retail homemaker property at Rothwell, north of Brisbane. This year we have also completed the sale of an industrial asset at Morningside, the sale of a sub-divided KFC outlet at our Menai retail centre in Sydney, and the sale of one of the properties at our Richlands industrial holding in Brisbane.
These successful sales all resulted in excellent outcomes for investors, by delivering capital growth returns on divestment, on top of the regular monthly distributions and, in some cases, additional capital return payments of investor equity on revaluations.
Buying property at the right time is just one part of Sentinel’s mandate to investors. The other is selling at the right time. We have a proven track record in both of these areas, and will continue to investigate all market opportunities to maximise the value of our assets and achieve the best possible returns for investors.