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Post-merger OUE C-Reit reports higher amount for distribution in Q1

The amount available for distribution by OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (C-Reit) rose 44.5 per cent year on year to S$37.63 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020, on the back of contributions from Mandarin Gallery, Mandarin Orchard Singapore and Crowne Plaza Changi Airport following the merger with OUE Hospitality Trust in 2019.

Revenue was up 40.5 per cent at S$77.73 million, while net property income was 42.5 per cent higher at S$62.07 million. The Reit's manager said it will review OUE C-Reit’s financial results for both Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 to determine the level of distribution for H1 2020.

Tan Shu Lin, chief executive of the Reit's manager, said: “While we are pleased to report a healthy Q1 2020 operational performance for our commercial segment, the Covid-19 situation is still evolving and there remains uncertainty as to when businesses can resume normal operations. Given the fluidity of the pandemic situation, we will continue to monitor our operations closely and adapt our business accordingly." She said the focus for the asset management segment is to retain tenants to maintain occupancies; strategies have also been put in place to manage cash flow, namely by managing costs and conserving cash. Meanwhile, the manager is leveraging on the weak operating environment to re-brand the Mandarin Orchard Singapore as the Hilton Singapore Orchard, "with new income-generating spaces to create value and drive sustainable returns". It will invest S$90 million over the renovation period, which will be carried out in phases. "The minimum rent embedded of S$45 million per annum within the hotel master lease arrangement will provide downside protection throughout the phased renovation and ramping-up period," the Reit said.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, OUE C-Reit has extended about S$18.8 million in support to tenants in Singapore; its eligible tenants have been put on flexible rental payment schemes. In the Lippo Plaza in Shanghai, the support measures for all qualifying tenants are in line with government advisories, the Reit said.

For the quarter under review, OUE C-Reit's commercial (office and retail) segment reported a net property income of S$47.1 million, up 8.1 per cent. As at March 31, OUE C-Reit’s commercial segment committed occupancy was stable at 94.3 per cent. Fourteen per cent of the gross rental income for the commercial segment is due for renewal for the rest of this year, while an additional 28.5 per cent of gross rental income is due in 2021.

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Meanwhile, net property income for the hospitality segment came to S$14.97 million; revenue worked out to S$16.88 million, thanks to the minimum rent under the master lease arrangements of the hotel properties in its portfolio.

Units in OUE C-Reit closed at 40 Singapore cents on Tuesday, up 1.5 cents.

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