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Frasers Commercial Trust posts 1.6% dip in Q4 DPU at 2.41 S cents

A LARGER unit base, higher repair rates and lower occupancy rates for its properties resulted in Frasers Commercial Trust's (FCOT) fourth-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) slipping to 2.41 Singapore cents, down 1.6 per cent from a year ago. DPU for the full year ended Sept 30, 2017 remained the same as the year-ago period at 9.82 Singapore cents.

FCOT also announced the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had given provisional permission for the trust to undertake a S$38 million renovation of the retail podium of China Square Central at 18 Cross Street.

Distributable income to unitholders was broadly the same for the fourth quarter, as it was a year ago, at S$19.4 million, while full-year distributable income climbed 1.3 per cent to S$78.6 million.

Net property income (NPI) for the quarter was 9 per cent lower from the year-ago period at S$26.74 million, mainly due to higher repair and maintenance works for the Caroline Chisholm Centre in Canberra, Australia, and lower occupancy rates for Alexandra Technopark and China Square Central in Singapore, and Central Park in Perth, Australia.

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NPI for the full year was down 1.5 per cent to S$113.84 million.

Gross revenue for the quarter also took a hit, down 2.6 per cent to S$38.31 million, while overall revenue for the year remained broadly in line with FY2016's at S$156.55 million.

One bright spot was NPI for the company's Australian properties, which increased 2.5 per cent year on year, mainly as a result of the better performance from 357 Collins Street, on the back of higher average occupancy and rental rates, coupled with the stronger Australian dollar, the trust manager said.

As at Sept 30, FCOT's weighted average debt expiry was 2.5 years, and gearing remained at 34.7 per cent.

DPU for the quarter will be paid out on Nov 29, 2017.

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