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Ascott Reit Q3 DPU falls 26% to S$0.0169/share on one-offs, rights issue

ASCOTT Residence Trust's (Ascott Reit) distribution per unit (DPU) for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 shrank by about a quarter to 1.69 Singapore cents amid one-off items and a rights issue, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday morning.

Third-quarter unitholders' distribution slipped 6 per cent to S$36.3 million from S$38.7 million in the year-ago period.

DPU fell 28 per cent from a year-ago 2.35 Singapore cents. If the year-ago figure were restated to account for a 29 units-for-100 units held rights issue in April, however, DPU would have declined by 26 per cent.

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The DPU would have increased by 1 per cent to 2.18 Singapore cents if the numbers were adjusted for one-off realised foreign exchange gains, the effects of the rights issue and an equity placement to fund the acquisition of Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel in March 2016.

For the quarter, gross revenue grew 2 per cent to S$126.9 million from the preceding year. Gross profit increased 3 per cent to S$58.75 million from the previous year.

Year to date, gross profit for the group stood at S$165.14 million, broadly in line with 2016, while revenue rose 4 per cent to S$361.8 million. Its overall year-to-date unadjusted DPU also fell to 5.04 Singapore cents, down 19 per cent.

Revenue per available unit (RevPAU) for the third quarter inched up to S$146.

Mr Bob Tan, Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited's (ARTML) chairman, said the company made S$655.4 million worth of acquisitions this year and will continue to diversify the portfolio across geographies.

Ascott Reit announced in August this year it had acquired DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New York - Times Square South, its third New York City property, a prime freehold property in midtown Manhattan.

It also announced the acquisition of Ascott Orchard Singapore on 10 Oct, located along Cairnhill Road.

Meanwhile, the group's gearing was at 31.9 per cent as at Sept 30, while the effective borrowing rate was sustained at 2.4 per cent per annum.

The company also said it was assigned a long-term issuer default rating of BBB with a stable outlook by Fitch Ratings, and continues to hold a Baa3 issuer rating from Moody's Investors Service.

Ascott Reit units were trading down 0.41 per cent at S$1.225 as of 12.20pm on Tuesday.