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First Reit's Q4 DPU remains flat from a year ago

FIRST Real Estate Investment Trust’s (First Reit) fourth-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) stayed flat at 2.15 Singapore cents for the three months ended Dec 31, 2018, unchanged from a year ago.

This is payable on Feb 28, 2019.

Gross revenue went up 2.7 per cent to S$29.3 million, supported by contributions from new properties acquired in FY2017 - Siloam Hospitals Buton & Lippo Plaza Buton and Siloam Hospitals Yogyakarta. This also helped to lift net property income, which went up 1.9 per cent to S$28.5 million.

Meanwhile, the distributable amount went up 1.4 per cent to S$17 million.

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For the full year, First Reit’s DPU was 8.6 Singapore cents, up marginally from 8.57 cents a year ago.

Gross revenue rose 4.7 per cent to S$116.2 million for FY2018, while net property income increased 4.5 per cent to S$114.4 million. The distributable amount ticked up 1.4 per cent to S$67.7 million for the full year.

First Reit maintained its gearing at 35 per cent as at Dec 31, 2018, with 59 per cent of its debt on a fixed rate basis to mitigate interest rate fluctuations.

In Q4 2018, OUE Limited and OUE Lippo Healthcare Limited (OUELH) had completed the acquisition of Bowsprit, and OUELH also completed the acquisition of 83.6 million First Reit units from Lippo Karawaci, representing 10.6 per cent of the total unitholdings of First Reit.

Victor Tan, CEO of Bowsprit, First Reit's manager, said that with OUE and OUELH on board, First Reit is now “well-positioned” to tap on the growing opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region to capitalise on the “tremendous growth” in demand for quality and affordable health care.

He said: “In addition to the right-of-first-refusal to Lippo Karawaci’s pipeline of properties for acquisition in Indonesia, we now also have a first-right-of-refusal from OUELH.”

“Our roadmap for the next three to five years is to look at asset rebalancing, diversifying our income streams by expanding into other geographical regions, as well as exploring opportunities to unlock the value of our existing assets.”

First Reit’s Q4 results came out after trading hours on Wednesday.