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Mapletree Industrial Trust DPU up 6.6% at 3.07 Singapore cents

MAPLETREE Industrial Trust's distribution per unit rose 6.6 per cent to 3.07 Singapore cents for the third quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, up from 2.88 Singapore cents for the year-ago period, according to the firm's results release on Tuesday night. The distribution is expected to be paid by March 8, with books closure on Jan 30.

Distributable income for the quarter rose 9 per cent to S$58.3 million, from S$53.5 million. The rise was mainly due to income contribution from the real estate investment trust's (Reit) 40 per cent interest in the portfolio of 14 data centres in the United States.

Net property income for the quarter was S$71.9 million, up 1.4 per cent from S$70.9 million in the year-ago period. This was on the back of a 2.3 per cent rise in gross revenue to S$93.6 million, from S$91.5 million previously.

Growth was driven by the full-quarter contribution from Phase One of the build-to-suit project for HP Singapore, after the expiry of a rent-free period, as well as new contributions from Mapletree Sunview 1 and 30A Kallang Place.

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At Tuesday's extraordinary general meeting, the Reit also obtained unitholders' approval for its proposed acquisition of 18 Tai Seng from its sponsor Mapletree Investments, at an agreed property value of S$268.3 million.

Average portfolio occupancy improved to 88.2 per cent in the third quarter from 86.7 per cent in the second quarter. For Singapore, portfolio occupancy rose to 87.7 per cent from 86.2 per cent in the preceding quarter with all property segments seeing higher occupancy except for stackup/ramp-up buildings and light industrial buildings segments. The Singapore portfolio's weighted average lease to expiry increased quarter-on-quarter from 3.5 years to 3.6 years as at Dec 31, 2018, largely due to the start of long-term leases at 30A Kallang Place. The United States portfolio occupancy rate remained unchanged at 97.4 per cent.

Looking ahead, local business sentiment has moderated for the first quarter and global growth is expected to ease, while upcoming supply of competing industrial space is expected to result in moderations of both market rents and occupancy rates, said the Reit's manager. It added that it remains focused on tenant retention to maintain a stable portfolio occupancy.

Mapletree Industrial Trust units closed down two Singapore cents or one per cent at S$1.98 on Tuesday before the results release.