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Ascott Reit Q4 DPU unchanged at 2.04 cents

ASCOTT Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) saw a 30 per cent increase in distribution to unitholders to S$43.9 million for its fourth quarter on new acquisitions and a one-off distribution of S$6.5 million to unitholders from the divestment of two Chinese properties.

In all, unitholders' distribution for fiscal 2017 hit a record S$152.2 million.

However, distribution per unit (DPU) was flat at 2.04 Singapore cents from 2.04 Singapore cents in the preceding year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday morning.

Ascott Reit noted: "DPU would increase by 7 per cent from 1.93 cents in Q4 2016 to 2.07 cents in Q4 2017 if the one-off realised exchange gain, the effects of the rights issue in March 2017, contribution from Ascott Orchard Singapore and divestment gain were excluded."

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For the three months ended Dec 31, gross revenue expanded 6.1 per cent to S$134.5 million from the year-ago period. Net property income dropped 8.8 per cent to S$37 million from the previous year.

This was mainly contributed by a revenue of S$11.2 million from acquisitions in 2017, partially offset by the decrease in revenue of S$3.3 million from the divestment of 18 rental housing in Tokyo and the Citadines Biyun Shanghai and Citadines Gaoxin Xi'an in China, it said.

Ascott Reit properties are found in 14 countries, of which four properties are in Singapore.

On the Reit's new acqusitions, Bob Tan, chairman of the Reit's manager said: "With these acquisitions, Ascott Reit continues to lead as the most geographically diversified and largest hospitality Reit in Singapore with an asset size of S$5.5 billion."

"We will continue to lookout for accretive acquisitions in key gateway cities, and re-allocate our investments into higher-yielding properties to enhance returns to unitholders," he added.

Ascott Reit units ended S$0.01 or 0.8 per cent up at S$1.26 on Thursday.

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