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A-HTrust Q2 DPS falls to 1.38 S cents on absence of divestment proceeds

ASCENDAS Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust) posted higher gross revenue for the second quarter ended September. But its distribution per stapled security (DPS) declined, mainly because there was an absence of divestment.

A-HTrust's gross revenue stood at S$47.48 million, 2.4 per cent higher than S$46.37 million for the year-ago period. And net property income was 3.5 per cent higher year-on-year, having risen from S$20.46 million to S$21.17 million. This was mainly due to the contribution from the three WBF-branded hotels in Japan and ibis Ambassador Seoul Insadong that were acquired between September 2018 and December 2018.

The increase was partially offset by the weaker performance of the Australia portfolio, and further exacerbated by weaker Australian dollar and Korean won against Singapore dollar, said A-HTrust in a press statement released on Tuesday after market close.

Income available for distribution having taking into account working capital was S$15.72 million, 5.1 per cent lower than S$16.57 million a year ago.

DPS was 1.38 Singapore cents, lower than the 1.46 cents for the corresponding period a year ago. This was mainly due to the absence of partial distribution of the partial proceeds from divestment of S$1.7 million made in the corresponding quarter last year.

DPS will be paid on Dec 4.

Overall gearing ratio as at Sept 30 was 33.8 per cent, with the average interest rate for the quarter at 1.8 per cent and over 80 per cent of the borrowings on fixed rates. The weighted average debt maturity as at Sept 30 is 3.3 years.

The proposed combination of A-HTrust and Ascott Residence Trust was approved by stapled security-holders at the extraordinary general meeting and scheme meeting last week. Subject to the combination being sanctioned by the court, the last day of trading of the stapled securities of A-HTrust is expected to be Dec 16, with the expected delisting of the trust on Jan 3, 2020.

A-HTrust units ended flat at S$1.17 on Tuesday.