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A-Reit posts 9.9% jump in Q3 DPU

CONTRIBUTIONS from new properties, asset enhancement initiatives and positive rental reversion on renewals led Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (A-Reit) to post a 9.9 per cent jump in distribution per unit (DPU) for the third quarter to 3.946 Singapore cents from a year ago.

A-Reit made a DPU of 3.59 Singapore cents in the previous corresponding quarter ended Dec 31, 2014.

The Reit had announced acquisitions worth S$1.5 billion in Singapore and Australia and S$36 million of asset enhancement work at 40 Penjuru Lane in the third quarter.

Gross revenue rose 13 per cent to S$193.8 million from S$171.7 million, while net property income jumped 24 per cent to S$142.2 million from S$114.6 million

Improvement in occupancy rates for the overall portfolio to 89.2 per cent as at end December 2015 from 89 per cent in the previous quarter was led by the high occupancy of 94.4 per cent in the recently acquired Australian logistics property portfolio.

In Singapore, portfolio occupancy fell to 88.9 per cent from 89.8 per cent due to the recently completed new block at 40 Penjuru Lane, which has yet to be occupied. The manager is in negotiation with potential tenants for about half of the space in the new block.

In a separate statement, it was announced that Tan Ser Ping will retire from Ascendas Funds Management (AFM) - the manager of A-Reit - after having served as its chief executive officer for 11 years, effective March 31, 2016.

Mr Tan, 57, will be succeeded by Chia Nam Toon - currently chief financial officer and chief corporate officer of the Ascendas-Singbridge Group - effective April 1, 2016.

To ensure a smooth transition, Mr Tan will take on the role of adviser to the AFM board for 12 months following his retirement, the trust said in an announcement to Singapore Exchange.

AFM chairman Koh Soo Keong credited Mr Tan's leadership for the strength of the management team which has led various milestones in the expansion of A-Reit - Singapore's first and largest listed business space and industrial Reit, with S$9.4 billion of assets as at end-2015.

A-Reit units closed four Singapore cents or 1.9 per cent up at S$2.17 on Friday.