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Far East Hospitality Trust Q4 DPS up 3.1% to S$0.01 on improvements across portfolio

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The overall improvement was supported by the completion of the renovation of Orchard Rendezvous Hotel, according to Far East Hospitality Trust CEO Gerald Lee.

FAR East Hospitality Trust saw distribution per stapled security (DPS) rise 3.1 per cent to one Singapore cent for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, from 0.97 Singapore cent a year ago, the trust manager announced on Wednesday morning. This came on the back of a 4.9 per cent rise in income available for distribution to S$19.1 million, from S$18.2 million for the year-ago period.

The DPS for the quarter will be paid on March 28, with books closure on Feb 21. The trust manager's chief executive officer Gerald Lee noted that this was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth in DPS.

He attributed the results to overall improvement in the operating performance of its hotel portfolio, supported by a boost from the addition of Oasia Hotel Downtown and the completion of the renovation of Orchard Rendezvous Hotel. The trust's serviced residences also showed a turnaround in performance for the quarter, he added.

The fourth quarter saw a 13.9 per cent rise in net property income to S$26.3 million, from S$23.1 million for the year-ago period. Gross revenue was up 12.4 per cent to S$28.9 million, from S$25.7 million.

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The fourth-quarter results took full-year income available for distribution to S$75.4 million, up 4.7 per cent, while DPS was up 2.6 per cent at four Singapore cents. Net property income rose 10.3 per cent to S$102.8 million, while gross revenue rose 0.5 per cent to S$113.7 million.

On the outlook ahead, Far East Hospitality Trust said: "The operating environment for hotels in Singapore continues to trend in a positive direction, benefiting from a better balance in demand and supply in the industry."

It noted that room supply is expected to pick up by 2.2 per cent in 2019, compared to 2018's low increase of 1.1 per cent after growth of 5.1 per cent between 2013 and 2017.

However, with higher trade policy uncertainties and slowing economic growth in key markets, the hospitality sector could see a dampening in corporate demand, the trust said. Though serviced residences have shown signs of turning around, corporate demand is still expected to remain subdued, it added.

Far East Hospitality Trust units closed down one Singapore cent or 1.54 per cent at 64 Singapore cents on Tuesday before the results were released.