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SPH Reit Q1 distributable income grows 3%, DPU of 1.34 Singapore cents declared

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 19:56

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SINGAPORE-BASED mall investment trust SPH Reit posted a 3 per cent increase in distributable income for its first fiscal quarter as lower operating expenses uplifted a modest increase in revenue.

SINGAPORE-BASED mall investment trust SPH Reit posted a 3 per cent increase in distributable income for its first fiscal quarter as lower operating expenses uplifted a modest increase in revenue.

SPH Reit, whose sponsor, Singapore Press Holdings, owns The Business Times, said income available for distribution grew to S$36.4 million for the three months ended Nov 30, 2016. The trust is distributing 94 per cent of that, or S$34.2 million, representing a distribution per unit of 1.34 Singapore cents.

Net property income rose 3.3 per cent to S$41.4 million during the quarter.

Gross revenue grew a modest 0.9 per cent to S$52.6 million, but SPH Reit, citing "proactive management of utility and other key service contracts", managed to cut property operating expenses by 7 per cent to S$11.2 million to lift net property income further.

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The trust's debt position remained largely unchanged. Weighted average term to maturity of current debt is 2.8 years, and the average cost of debt was 2.81 per cent per year as at end-November 2016.

About S$846.3 million of a secured term loan facility is repayable after one year. The facility is secured by a first legal mortgage on Paragon, a first legal charge on tenancy accounts and sales proceeds at Paragon, and the assignment of certain insurances linked to Paragon.

The Reit manager described the retail environment over the next 12 months as "challenging", but expressed confidence in the existing portfolio.

"SPH Reit has a portfolio of two high quality and well-positioned retail properties in prime locations," the manager said. "Paragon had remained resilient and achieved steady performance through previous economic cycles. The Clementi Mall's second renewal cycle in 2017 is progressing well."

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