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CMT posts 0.7% rise in Q4 DPU

RETAIL landlord CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) on Friday said it achieved a 0.7 per cent increase in distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.88 cents for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, thanks to gains from the disposal of Rivervale Mall and higher rents achieved in most of its malls.

This translated into an annualised yield of 5.83 cents based on Thursday's closing.

Its fourth-quarter gross revenue, which rose 9.2 per cent to S$180.4 million, was buoyed by the acquisition of Bedok Mall on Oct 1 and higher rental achieved on new and renewed leases and staggered rental in other malls, partially offset by the decrease in gross revenue at JCube due to lower occupancy.

Net property income rose a larger 18.6 per cent to S$125.7 million, thanks to higher gross revenue and lower property operating expenses during the quarter. CMT registered a gain of S$72.74 million from the sale of Rivervale Mall on Dec 15.

CMT's current portfolio comprises 16 shopping malls which are strategically located in the suburban areas and downtown core of Singapore, including a 40 per cent interest in RCS Trust that owns Raffles City Singapore and a 30 per cent interest in Infinity Trusts that owns Westgate.

For the full year, CMT's DPU rose 3.8 per cent to 11.25 cents, buoyed by contribution from the newly acquired Bedok Mall, the completion of Bugis Junction's asset enhancement initiative (AEI) in September 2014 as well as higher rents on new and renewed leases and staggered rental. But the lower gross revenue from IMM due to phase 2 of AEI and Clarke Quay was a drag on gross revenue and occupancy.

Wilson Tan, CEO of the Reit manager, pointed out that tenants' sales per square foot and shopper traffic increased 5.3 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively in fiscal 2015. Portfolio occupancy remained high at 97.6 per cent as at Dec 31. As at Dec 31, Clarke Quay also achieved more than 90 per cent committed occupancy for the reconfigured space in Block C Anchored by Zouk.

"Singapore's largest outlet mall IMM Building further enhanced its shopping experience and increased its total number of outlet stores to 85 with new designer brands such as Outlet by Club 21, Juicy Couture and Cole Haan. It also boosted its F&B offerings with additions such as Dôme Café," Mr Tan said. "We will continue to transform our malls through asset enhancement initiatives and reinforce our relevance to the communities that we operate in."

Danny Teoh, chairman of the Reit manager, attributed CMT's performance to the underlying strength of its portfolio - made up of predominantly necessity shopping malls connected to or near transportation hubs serving large catchment areas that have proven resilient through different economic cycles.

CMT"s Q4 DPU will be paid out on Feb 29.