The Straits Times | April 20, 2013
Offering new tenant mixes in malls while riding on China's growing domestic consumption pushed up rental income for CapitaRetail China Trust (CRCT) in the first quarter.
Gross revenue grew 3.7 per cent from last year to $39.3 million for the three months to March 31.
Net property income was $25.9 million, up 4.6 per cent for the same period, due to the strong Singapore dollar against the Chinese yuan.
Increases in both gross revenue and net property income stemmed from the new tenancy mix at CapitaMall Saihan and CapitaMall Wuhu in China. Both malls saw double-digit growth figures.
The improved occupancy rate at CapitaMall Saihan after adjustments to the tenant mix on its first floor as well as high rentals attributed to the growth.
CRCT reported that distributable income rose 4.2 per cent to $17.3 million. However, the first-quarter distribution per unit was down 4.1 per cent to 2.31 cents from the same period last year.
No distribution was declared.
The annualised distribution yield was 5.3 per cent based on CRCT's closing price of $1.755 per unit yesterday.
The chairman of CapitaRetail China Trust Management, Mr Victor Liew, said: "With ongoing government measures to drive economic growth through domestic consumption, China retail sales are expected to grow 14.5 per cent this year."
This will benefit CRCT, which invests in nine shopping malls across six cities in China including Beijing and Shanghai.
But the increasing popularity of e-commerce in China has caused department stores to record sluggish sales growth, the trust said.
To counter this, CRCT said it will continually adjust the tenant mix in its malls to remain ahead of the competition and provide customers with enhanced shopping experiences.
Chief executive Tony Tan said: "We will continue to strengthen the competitiveness of our malls. The asset enhancement of CapitaMall Minzhongleyuan, when completed next year, will provide additional uplift to our growth."
Earnings per unit fell from 2.1 cents to 2.04 cents for the first quarter, while net asset value per unit rose marginally to $1.33 as at March 31. CRCT units closed down 1.5 cents to $1.755 yesterday.
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