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SPH Reit Q1 DPU down 13%; gross revenue up 10.8 per cent

Reit turnover was shored up by South Australia's Westfield Marion, which was acquired in December 2019. Tenant sales at this mall are recovering steadily to near pre-Covid levels, the manager said.


SPH Reit has declared a first-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.2 Singapore cents, down from 1.38 Singapore cents the year prior.

The lower DPU, down by 13 per cent year on year, was "in line with the gradual Covid-19 recovery in both Singapore and Australia", said the manager in an interim business update on Wednesday.

This came even as gross revenue rose by 10.8 per cent year on year to S$66.6 million, for the three months to Nov 30, 2020.

Reit turnover was shored up by South Australia's Westfield Marion, which was acquired in December 2019, and stable contributions from Figtree Grove in New South Wales.

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On the other hand, the Reit's Singapore assets saw a decline in gross revenue, attributed to rental relief for tenants affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The flagship Paragon contributed S$38.5 million to the top line, down from S$44.2 million before.

Retail activity at Paragon remains affected by Singapore's border restrictions. The Clementi Mall has taken a hit from work-from-home arrangements, the manager said.

Still, it added that footfall and tenant sales across its Singapore shopping centres recovered during the year-end festive period.

Meanwhile, in Australia, tenant sales at both Westfield Marion and Figtree Grove "are recovering steadily to near pre-Covid levels", it noted.

SPH Reit had S$1.3 billion in debt as at Nov 30, 2020, up from S$1.1 billion the year before.

The weighted average term to maturity was 2.7 years.

The manager said that it is refinancing S$215 million in loans maturing by July 2021, while revolving credit facilities of S$225 million remain available and undrawn.

Portfolio occupancy stood at 97.9 per cent as at end-Nov 2020, while weighted average lease expiry by net lettable area was 51/2 years.

The DPU, which includes 0.13 Singapore cent that had been deferred from earlier income under Covid-19 relief measures, will be paid on Feb 26.

The books close on Jan 21.

Units closed at S$0.835, lower by S$0.01 or 1.18 per cent, before the results were released. Singapore Press Holdings, the Reit sponsor, also publishes The Business Times.

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