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CapitaLand Mall Trust Q2 DPU up 2.2% to 2.81 Singapore cents

Image 2_Artist's impression of new L1 entrance and escalator at Westgate .jpg
Westgate is being renovated with a new mall entrance, new escalators and a new air-conditioned enclosure for outdoor dining.

Image 1_Facade of Westgate.jpg
Westgate is being renovated with a new mall entrance, new escalators and a new air-conditioned enclosure for outdoor dining.

DISTRIBUTION per unit (DPU) at CapitaLand Mall Trust was up for the second quarter on a rise in net property income, the manager said on Friday morning.

Unit holders can look forward to a DPU of 2.81 Singapore cents for the three months to June 30, up by 2.2 per cent on the same period the year before, with distributable income up by 2.9 per cent to S$100 million.

The retail Reit (real estate investment trust) saw net property income grew by 2.8 per cent to S$120.8 million, with gross revenue up by 1.6 per cent to S$171.4 million.

Portfolio occupancy stood at 98 per cent as at end-June, while the weighted-average lease expiry was 1.9 years.

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Net asset value ticked up to 2.01 Singapore cents, from 1.95 Singapore cents as at Dec 31, 2017.

CapitaLand Mall Trust "overcame soft market conditions to deliver another set of stable results" for the quarter, said Tony Tan, chief executive of the manager, in a media statement.

The rise in income came as Plaza Singapura, Bedok Mall, Bugis Junction and Tampines drew higher gross rental income. Still, the manager noted that the increase in rental income took a hit from lower occupancy and rental rates at JCube and Bukit Panjang Plaza.

There was also a drop in turnover from Sembawang Shopping Centre, which was divested during the quarter for S$248 million to a joint venture between Lian Beng Group and the private investment firm of the Super Group's Teo family. Net proceeds from the sale went to repaying existing borrowings, which Mr Tan noted has led to "improved financial flexibility" for the trust and a lower gearing of 31.5 per cent, down from 33.5 per cent as at March 31.

DPU was up by 2 per cent to 5.59 Singapore cents, for the half-year, on a 3.7 per cent increase in net property income, to S$246.4 million, and a gross revenue that was higher by 1.7 per cent at S$346.5 million.

CapitaLand Mall Trust has a portfolio of 15 malls in Singapore, including a 40 per cent stake in Raffles City Singapore, a 30 per cent stake in Westgate in Jurong, and 90 out of 91 strata lots in Bukit Panjang Plaza.

Funan has been closed for redevelopment since July 2016. Meanwhile, Westgate is being renovated with a new mall entrance, new escalators and a new air-conditioned enclosure for outdoor dining, with Mr Tan saying that the plan is to complete the works by the fourth quarter 2018.

The books closure date for distribution is July 30, with the sum to be paid out on Aug 29.

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