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Accordia Golf Trust's Q4 DPU plunges by 62%, with manager blaming bad weather

ACCORDIA Golf Trust's fourth-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) has slumped on wider losses and weaker income, according to unaudited financial statements on Monday evening.

DPU tumbled to 0.45 yen (0.56 Singapore cent) in the three months to March 31, down by 62 per cent from 1.18 yen in the same period the year before. Distributable income for the period was slashed from 1.3 billion yen to just 493 million yen.

The fall came as higher operating expenses, fuelled by a bigger impairment cost, outstripped a 4 per cent year-on-year decline in revenue to 9.42 billion yen. Operating income was down by 3.6 per cent to 9.56 billion yen, even as the lower turnover was partly padded by contributions from a disaster insurance payout over a typhoon in the quarter before.

Net loss for the three months inched up by 1.3 per cent to 2.88 billion yen, which brought net loss per unit to 2.62 yen, against 2.58 yen previously.

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For the full year, Accordia Golf Trust clocked a 2.4 per cent rise in net profit to 4.1 billion yen, on a 1.3 per cent dip in revenue to 50.86 billion yen and a 0.9 per cent decline in operating income to 51.45 billion yen.

The manager has blamed the quarter's income on the underperformance of the business trust's golf course assets, no thanks to intemperate weather, citing snowfall in January and rain in March.

"The total distributable cash flow was positive despite the operating loss due to receipt of membership fees during the period," the manager added, but noted that distributable income still took a hit from the courses' weather-related poor showing and lower membership revenue proceeds.

In an outlook statement, the manager noted Japan's economic growth forecast. "The stable economic performance alongside increasing inbound tourism bodes well with the sponsor's objective to promote its golf courses to attract foreign tourists. In the short- to medium-term, the number of golfers is expected to stay stable due to increasing number of senior golfers," it said.

"However, an ageing population remains a challenge in the golf industry worldwide as younger golfers are not increasing in proportion to senior golfers. To sustain the golf business, the sponsor plans to introduce initiatives to reach out to the next-generation and female golfers."

A distribution of 2.2 Singapore cents a unit was declared for the half-year, down from 3.59 Singapore cents previously. It will be paid on June 21, with books closing on June 12.

The counter closed down by half a Singapore cent, or 0.79 per cent, at S$0.625, before the announcement.