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RHT Health Q4 DPU slips 5.4% to 1.06 Singapore cents

RHT Health Trust recorded 5.4 per cent lower DPU to 1.06 Singapore cents for its fiscal fourth quarter compared to the previous corresponding period.

Total distributable income for Q4 2018 was S$8.6 million compared to S$9.05 million in the previous corresponding quarter. This was due to an increase in borrowings and an increase in interest rates, which led to higher interest expenses, RHT said.

There was also an increase in trust-related expenses due to refinancing activities as well as the consent solicitation exercise conducted with noteholders, RHT said.

For the fourth quarter, revenue was up 2.5 per cent to S$23.13 million against the preceding year due to the 3 per cent annual increase in its base fee. Also, RHT has accrued interest charges payable by Fortis Healthcare Limited for the late payment of service fees in fiscal 2018.

As per the Hospital and Medical Services Agreement between the relevant RHT entities and the relevant Fortis entities, RHT is entitled to this service fee interest, it said in its exchange filing.

However, the increase in revenue was offset by a drop in variable fees, which in Q4 came in lower as Fortis saw lower occupancy levels at its clinical establishments.

On a full-year basis, RHT's service fees were up by 5 per cent over the previous financial year.

In fiscal 2018, RHT had faced delays in receiving service fees due from Fortis, the group said, resulting in the manager not being able to pay out the distributable income to unitholders on a bi-annual basis, which is the usual policy.

"The trustee-manager had followed up closely with Fortis on the outstanding payments which allowed us to declare and pay out 1.22 (Singapore) cents on March 1, 2018," RHT said.

Gurpreet Dhillon, chief executive officer of RHT, said, "While we have been closely following up with Fortis on making the payments to RHT current, we have also been working on the proposed disposal of the portfolio of assets of RHT to Fortis. We see the proposed disposal as being important and beneficial to RHT's unitholders in enabling them to realise their investment in RHT at an attractive rate.

"We note that Fortis has obtained their shareholders' approval for the acquisition of the portfolio of asset of RHT on May 5, 2018, and we hope to be able to put the proposed disposal to our unitholders' votes shortly," he said.

RHT's counter ended trading at 78.5 Singapore cents on Thursday, down 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.63 per cent.

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