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Ascott Residence Trust's Q1 distributable income up marginally at S$27.3m

ASCOTT Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) on Friday posted an amount distributable to unitholders of S$27.3 million for its first quarter FY2016 results, up 1.1 per cent from the same period a year ago.

This translates to distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.75 Singapore cents, down from the 1.76 Singapore cents a year ago.

In March, Ascott Reit raised S$100 million through an equity placement by issuing 94.8 million new units at a price of S$1.055 per unit to partly fund its second acquisition in New York. Excluding the effect of the equity placement, Q1 DPU would be 1.76 Singapore cents.

Following the equity placement, the Reit declared an advanced distribution of 1.585 cents per unit based on the period of Jan 1 to March 22, 2016, which will be paid on April 27. The next distribution will comprise distribution income from March 23 to June 30, 2016.

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Revenue for quarter rose 17.2 per cent to S$105.5 million, mainly due to the new acquisitions in 2015, with the greatest contribution from its first acquisition in New York last year. But the increase was partially offset by the decrease in revenue of S$0.8 million from the divestment of six rental housing properties and decrease in revenue of S$0.1 million from the existing properties.

Revenue per available unit (RevPAU) of S$125 for Q1, an increase of 10 per cent compared to Q1 2015 due to the 2015 acquisitions. On a same store basis, excluding the acquisitions, RevPAU for the quarter edged up one per cent year on year.

Gross profit grew 12.6 per cent to S$48.6 million year on year.

Lim Jit Poh, Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited's (ARTML) chairman, said: "Last month, we topped Ascott Reit's 10 years of phenomenal growth with our second acquisition in New York. This acquisition, which is expected to be completed later this month, will increase our portfolio to 11,661 apartment units in 90 properties, expanding our asset size to S$5.0 billion. When our acquisition of Ascott Orchard Singapore is completed next year, Ascott Reit's asset size will further expand to S$5.4 billion, putting us well on course to achieve our target of S$6.0 billion by 2017."

Ascott Reit is now not only the largest hospitality real estate investment trust listed in Singapore by asset size, it also has the most diversified portfolio across 38 cities and 14 countries, said Mr Lim, who added that the Reit will expand its portfolio by actively seeking accretive acquisitions in key cities of markets such as Australia, Japan, Europe and the US.