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Ascott Reit Q3 DPU increases 7.7% to 1.82 S cents

HIGHER revenue from two acquisitions gave a fillip to results for serviced residence landlord Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) for its third quarter.

Distribution per unit rises 7.7 per cent to 1.82 Singapore cents from 1.69 Singapore cents for the year-ago period, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday morning.

That came as Q3 unitholders’ distribution grew 8.4 per cent to S$39.4 million from the previous year.

For the three months ended Sept 30, gross revenue expanded 6 per cent to S$134.5 million from the preceding year. The gain in gross revenue was mostly due to the additional revenue of S$6.2 million from the acquisition of Ascott Orchard Singapore and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New York – Times Square South, as well as higher revenue from the existing properties by S$3.6 million.

This offset the decrease in revenue of S$2.2 million from divestments in Japan and China.

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Gross profit rose 9.2 per cent to S$64.2 million from the previous year on the higher revenue.

Going by geography, gross profit in Singapore was the best performer with a 27 per cent jump for properties under management contracts due to higher market demand and average daily rate.

Gross profit in Japan and the US rose 24 per cent and 21 per cent due to higher demand; Chinese gross profit rose 16 per cent excluding the divestments due to an increase in project groups on extended stay; Australian gross profit for properties under management contracts went up 7 per cent due to higher leisure demand.

Revenue per available unit (RevPAU) rose 8 per cent to S$158, due to higher demand for Ascott Reit’s properties in markets such as Singapore, China and Japan.

Its properties comprise serviced residences, mostly operated under the Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brands.

Bob Tan, Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited’s (ARTML) chairman, said: "With a debt headroom of about S$810 million, we have the financial flexibility to seek more accretive acquisitions from our sponsor Ascott and third parties, as well as reallocate our investments into higher-yielding properties."

Ascott Reit's acquisition of a prime greenfield site at one-north in September to build its first co-living property "will be our maiden development project which will allow us to enjoy development profits", said Mr Tan.

Ascott Reit units ended unchanged at S$1.05 on Wednesday.

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