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Ascendas Hospitality Trust's Q4 DPS up 25.5% to 1.72 Singapore cents

DISTRIBUTION per stapled security for Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A H-Trust) in its fourth quarter ended March 31 expanded to 1.72 Singapore cents from 1.37 Singapore cents in the previous year.

Its Q4 income available for distribution, less the income retained for working capital, was S$19.5 million, up 26.3 per cent from the year-ago period, mainly due to a look fee of S$4.1 million received from the divestment of two hotels in Beijing announced in late January 2018.

For continuing operations, gross revenue fell 5.9 per cent to S$49.7 million from the previous year, while net property income fell 9 per cent to S$22.0 million from the preceding year.

Including contributions from the China hotels, gross revenue stood at S$54.7 million, down 4.6 per cent, while net property income was at S$23.7 million, down 8 per cent.

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This was mainly attributed to lower revenue from its Australia and Japan properties, and exacerbated by the weakening of the Japanese yen and Australian dollar against the Singapore dollar.

For the financial year, distribution per stapled security crept up to 5.86 Singapore cents from 5.68 Singapore cents. After deducting income retained for working capital, income available for distribution stood at S$66.2 million, up 3.7 per cent.

Net property income for the full year fell 3.5 per cent to S$95.7 million, while revenue edged up 0.1 per cent to S$224.7 million including the discontinued operations.

A H-Trust expects to see healthy demand in the Sydney city centre, but increased competition in suburban Sydney and Melbourne. It expects supply growth in Brisbane to ease off after 2018.

In Japan, it expects the hotel market for Osaka to "remain stable with moderate growth in the near term as inbound visitors to the city is expected to continue supporting the hotel market".

Competition is expected to ease in Singapore as supply growth tapers off from 2018, A H-Trust said.

It will distribute 3.13 Singapore cents per stapled security for Oct 1 2017 to March 31 2018 on June 19.

A H-Trust closed unchanged at S$0.80.