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Mapletree Logistics Trust Q1 DPU edges up to 2.025 Singapore cents

ACCRETIVE acquisitions in the previous financial year and the completed redevelopment of a Chinese logistics park lifted results for Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) in its first quarter.

Its Q1 income available for distribution for unitholders climbed 20.8 per cent to S$73.6 million, while available distribution per unit (DPU) crept up to 2.025 Singapore cents from 1.957 Singapore cents thanks to an enlarged unit base.

Books closure date is July 30, and payment will be made on Sept 6. MLT's Distribution Reinvestment Plan will also be suspended from - and including - the first quarter's distribution, meaning that unitholders will receive their quarterly distribution in cash, its manager said in a statement.

It said: "With an aggregate leverage ratio of 36.8 per cent as at June 30, 2019, MLT has sufficient financial capacity to pursue investment opportunities in the near term."

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For the three months ended June 30, gross revenue increased 13.6 per cent to S$119.8 million from the previous year.  This arose from the completed redevelopment of Mapletree Ouluo Logistics Park Phase 1 in the second quarter of the previous financial year and acquisitions in Singapore, Australia, South Korea and Vietnam completed last financial year.

That outweighed the absence of revenue from the divestment of seven properties last fiscal year and in the first quarter this fiscal year, as well as the impact of a weaker Australian dollar, Chinese yuan and South Korean won.

Net property income expanded 18.2 per cent to S$106.1 million from the year-ago period.

MLT's properties include a portfolio of 137 properties in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, South Korea, China, Malaysia and Vietnam. 

Portfolio occupancy as at June 30, 2019 edged down slightly to 97.6 per cent compared to 98 per cent in the previous quarter, due to slightly lower occupancy rates in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea that was partially offset by higher occupancy in China.

The weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of the portfolio (by net lettable area) was extended to 4.8 years from 3.8 years in the prior quarter, mainly due to the successful renewal of two long-term leases in Singapore.

The average rental reversion for leases renewed or replaced in the first quarter this fiscal year was 1.8 per cent, contributed by China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

MLT also said: "Global economic growth softened further in the first half of the year as trade and manufacturing decelerated. In MLT’s markets, overall leasing demand for warehouse space has been relatively resilient to-date. However, customers have become more cautious on renewals and capacity expansion."

It will proactively manage its leases to maintain stable occupancies, and pursue acquisitions and asset enhancements to keep the portfolio competitive.

About 83 per cent of MLT’s total debt has been hedged into fixed rates, while approximately 83 per cent of income stream for this fiscal year has been hedged.

Mapletree closed unchanged on Monday at S$1.61 before results were announced.