Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ascott Reit Q2 DPU up 2%

Business Times: Sat, Jul 28

ASCOTT Residence Trust's (Ascott Reit) second-quarter distributable income rose 3 per cent to $27.1 million, from $26.3 million a year ago, helped by higher revenues from new acquisitions in Tokyo and Kyoto and better performing serviced residences in the UK, Philippines and China.

Distribution per unit for the quarter ended June 30 rose 2 per cent to 2.38 cents from 2.33 cents a year earlier. Unitholders will receive a first-half distribution of 4.517 cents per unit, up 1 per cent from a year ago.

Q2 revenue grew 8 per cent to $78.9 million from $73.1 million a year ago, with the added contribution of Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo and Citadines Karasuma-Gojo Kyoto, acquired in December and March respectively. Gross profit rose 4 per cent to $42.7 million from $41.2 million a year ago.

With higher rentals from the rebranded Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London and higher demand for its Philippines serviced residences from the business process outsourcing, oil and gas and aircraft engineering sectors, Q2 revenue per available unit rose 6 per cent to $156 per day from $147 per day a year back.

Ascott Reit's China properties continued to perform due to more project and relocation business too, said Ronald Tay, chief executive of the Reit's manager Ascott Residence Trust Management (ARTM). But revenue from its properties in France, Germany, Belgium and Spain fell due to the depreciation of the euro against the Sing dollar.

At its extraordinary general meeting yesterday, unitholders approved Ascott Reit's divestment of Somerset Grand Cairnhill Singapore and acquisition of Ascott Raffles Place Singapore, Ascott Guangzhou and a new Cairnhill serviced residence to be built here.

The Reit expects to recognise a gross divestment gain of $87.1 million from Somerset Grand Cairnhill and the new 99-year lease serviced residence is slated to be delivered in 2017.

As at June 30, independent valuations put Ascott Reit's portfolio at $2.9 billion, up 2.5 per cent from its last valuation as at Dec 31, 2011. This translates into a higher net asset value per unit of $1.42 as at June 30, up from $1.36 as at Dec 31 last year.

The group said it would continue to focus on yield-accretive acquisitions and explore opportunities in Asia as well as London, Paris and key cities in Germany.

Ascott Reit closed 1.5 cents higher at $1.21 per unit yesterday, before it announced its results.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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