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Diversification drive pays off for Masholds

Masholds has a long-term strategy hinged on diversifying its portfolio.

LISTED property concern, Mashonaland Holdings Limited (Masholds) says its diversification thrust has started to pay off, with the firm focusing on increasing market share, riding on its growth drive, NewsDay Business reports.

Masholds has a long-term strategy hinged on diversifying its portfolio.

In an interview with NewsDay Business, Masholds managing director Gibson Mapfidza said the company’s thrust was to increase market share through new products and market penetration as it head hunts new tenants to fill current voids at Chiyedza House and ZB Life Towers.

“We closed the year in good financial standing. I won’t say much as we are in our closed period,” he said.

“But I must say the property sector at large continues to show resilience in the face of a harsh economic environment. Our diversification thrust has started contributing to our topline as we complete some of our key projects.

“Our thrust is to increase our market share through new products and market penetration as we head hunt new tenants to fill our current voids at Chiyedza House and ZB Life Towers. In that thrust, we remain alive to the need for a robust on-boarding process to ensure we protect the quality of our earnings going forward.”

Customer servicing remained a key imperative, both at group and at company levels, to support the company’s growth thrust. The real estate firm recorded a net promoter score of 75% as at December 31, 2023 and current efforts are on ensuring that the company responds to tenants’ needs.

While the outlook for the year ahead is complex, nuanced and suggests uneven performance, Mapfidza said the overriding theme in real estate markets would be one of opportunity amid challenges.

“As such, we will stay the course on our growth ambition. Given the high inflation and interest rates, our ability to execute offensive and defensive strategies is going to be very key,” the managing director said.

“Diversified growth in logistics, retail, health and tourism sectors in our five-year plan will transform the business to a fully resilient investment offering which delivers stakeholder returns.

“We are very excited with the current progress on our signature Pomona Commercial Centre project and doing everything possible to keep the momentum, the earlier you complete a project the more risks you dodge in this market.”

He said Masholds would focus on upgrading existing facilities, refining space requirements and aligning location, quality, design and amenities of all their buildings.

“Another one particular area we need to ramp up in 2024 is on sustainability. We need to stack up to the countries carbon commitments through retrofitting of existing assets and building going forward,” he said.

“To this end, we have commenced engagements with IFC (International Finance Corporation), which has presented its edge tool to our teams. Current efforts is to bring on board a local implementation partner and pursue first the low hanging fruits we need to start recording and reporting on.

“We also hope in that thrust the Green Building Council will sooner than later put in place a regulatory framework so as to help compel sustainability practices in the built environment industry.”

Going forward, Mapfidza indicated that the company will increase its responsible citizenry credentials by partnering both local and national governments in providing requisite infrastructure with on-going engagements with Harare City Council and Bulawayo City Council for partnerships that will pave way for affordable social housing.

“We are also engaging with leading universities with the intention to partner them in providing student accommodation,” he added.


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