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Ascendas Hospitality Trust posts 14% drop in Q3 DPS to 1.41 Singapore cents

DRAGGED by weaker performance in its Australia portfolio, Ascendas Hospitality Trust posted a 14 per cent drop in distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2017 to 1.41 Singapore cents.

Net property income (NPI) fell 4.7 per cent from a year ago to S$25.2 million amid weaker performance from the Australia portfolio and translation losses in foreign-currency earnings due to the stronger Singapore dollar.

Income available for distribution, less income retained for working capital, slipped 13.7 per cent to S$16 million amid lower NPI, higher trust expense, absence of one-off gain and higher amount of income retained.

Room revenue for the Australia portfolio remained healthy, with a 1.9 per cent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR). But NPI of the Australia portfolio during the quarter slipped 7.6 per cent to S$13.7 million mainly due to lower contribution from Pullman and Mercure Melbourne Albert Park.

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"While some of the hotels in the Australia portfolio currently face a competitive landscape, we are confident in the overall quality of the Australia portfolio and are optimistic that it remains well positioned for the long run," said Tan Juay Hiang, CEO of the trust manager.

"In addition, the performance of the portfolios in the other three countries was encouraging as each of them posted improved performance year-on-year in local currency term."

These other three countries are China, Japan and Singapore.

Its China portfolio saw a 0.7 per cent rise in NPI to S$2 million, mainly due to Novotel Beijing Sanyuan, which benefitted from strong public and corporate demand.

Though the performance of both hotels in Japan improved, the weaker Japanese yen against the Singapore dollar led to a 5.4 per cent drop in NPI to S$6.1 million.

In Singapore, NPI rose 7.3 per cent to S$3.4 million on the back of an improvement in rental income contribution from Park Hotel Clarke Quay.

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