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Mapletree Commercial Trust's H1 DPU down 9.9%

MAPLETREE Commercial Trust (MCT) has declared a distribution per unit (DPU) of 4.17 Singapore cents for  its first half ended Sept 30, down 9.9 per cent from a year ago, said the real estate investment trust's manager on Thursday after market close.

Unitholders will receive the distribution on Nov 27.

Distributable income ticked up 3.2 per cent to S$138.42 million, as S$15 million was released to unitholders in the first half. This comes as MCT had earlier made capital-allowance claims and retained capital distribution to conserve liquidity in view of the uncertain Covid-19 pandemic in the fourth quarter of FY 19/20.

Gross revenue fell 2.5 per cent to S$218.67 million. Net property income (NPI) fell 2.6 per cent to S$171.46 million. This was mostly due to rental rebates granted to eligible retail tenants affected by Covid-19, but offset by contribution from Mapletree Business City II, which was acquired on Nov 1, 2019.

As at Sept 30, the committed occupancy of the portfolio stood at 97.7 per cent.

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MCT's total investment properties were valued at S$8.7 billion as at Sept 30, due to the impact of Covid-19. Consequently, net asset value per unit was revised to S$1.71, down from S$1.75 on March 31, 2020.

The average term to maturity stood at 4.5 years and the aggregate leverage was 33.8 per cent. As at Sept 30, 2020, the weighted average all-in cost of debt was 2.57 per cent per annum and the interest coverage ratio on a 12-month trailing basis was approximately 4.0 times.

The manager said both shopper traffic and tenant sales at VivoCity, one of the Reit's five assets, have recovered progressively since Phase Two of reopening from June 19. The rebound in tenant sales outpaced that of shopper traffic.

VivoCity recorded S$183.3 million of tenant sales in Q2 FY20/21, or about 78 per cent of that of the corresponding period last year. In comparison, it recorded S$76.5 million in Q1 FY20/21, just 36.6 per cent of the tenant sales of the same period last year.

As for Mapletree Business City II and Mapletree Anson, gross revenue and NPI from the office/business park assets in H1 FY20/21 were 33.4 per cent and 33.8 per cent higher respectively than in the previous year. This was largely driven by first-time contribution from MBC II and higher contribution from Mapletree Anson as a result of higher occupancy.

Sharon Lim, chief executive officer of the manager, said: "While tenants have resumed operations, various health protocols including border closures, work-from-home directives and safe-distancing measures remain in place. We believe that there is room for further improvement in tenant sales and shopper traffic once these restrictions are lifted."

Units of MCT rose 1 Singapore cent to S$1.91 on Thursday before the announcement.

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