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MCT posts 5.6% rise in Q3 DPU to 2.46 S cents

MAPLETREE Commercial Trust (MCT) on Wednesday posted a third-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.46 Singapore cents, a 5.6 per cent rise from a year ago due to higher gross revenue and net property income.

Distributable income climbed 18 per cent to S$79 million for the three-month period ended Dec 31, 2019.

Gross revenue increased 16.7 per cent to S$131.3 million. This was due to newly acquired Mapletree Business City (Phase 2) (MBC II) contributing revenue of S$14.9 million, and higher contributions from all properties except Mapletree Anson.

On Nov 1, 2019, MCT completed the acquisition of MBC II on Pasir Panjang Road and the common premises at 10, 20 and 30 Pasir Panjang Road, at an agreed property value of S$1.55 billion. The seller was Heliconia Realty, a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Mapletree Investments, MCT's sponsor.

Revenue from MBC I was S$2.3 million higher due to more rental income from new or renewed leases, and the step-up rents in existing leases.

Revenue for VivoCity increased by S$1.3 million. There was higher rental income from new and renewed leases, asset enhancement initiatives, and step-up rents in existing leases.

Mapletree Anson recorded lower revenue mainly due to lower occupancy, partially offset by a compensation sum received.

Property operating expenses rose 13.6 per cent to S$28 million because of expenses for MBC II, higher staff costs, property management fees and property taxes.

Net property income hence increased 17.6 per cent to S$103.3 million.

Finance expenses were 19.7 per cent higher at S$21.3 million mainly due to the interest expenses of MBC LLP, additional loans drawn down for working capital requirements, and interest expense on bridging loans drawn down to partly finance the MBC II acquisition.

Portfolio occupancy was 98.3 per cent as at Dec 31, 2019, and committed portfolio occupancy was 98.9 per cent. Portfolio rental reversion was 5 per cent.

As at Dec 31, 2019, MCT's gearing ratio stood at 33.4 per cent, while the average term to maturity of debt was 4.4 years and the weighted average all-in cost of debt was 2.96 per cent per year.

Books close on Jan 31, 2020 and the DPU of 1.85 Singapore cents for the period Oct 25 to Dec 31, 2019 will be made on Feb 26, 2020.

The DPU of 2.46 Singapore cents included the advance distribution of 0.61 Singapore cent per unit paid out on Nov 21, 2019, declared pursuant to the private placement on Oct 25 to raise gross proceeds of S$458 million to partly finance the MBC II acquisition.

Quarterly distributions will resume after the Feb 26, 2020 distribution.

MCT units closed flat at S$2.44 on Wednesday.