CapitaCommercial Trust posts 2% rise in distribution per unit for 4Q 2013

Higher revenue from most of its properties led CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT) to report a higher distribution per unit for the fourth quarter of last year.

CCT will pay unitholders 2.09 cents for the three months to Dec 31, a 2 per cent rise from the same period a year ago, the trust's manager said on Thursday.

This brings its total distribution for last year to 8.14 cents, up 1.2 per cent from 2012.

Distributable income for the office trust rose 3.3 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year ago to $60.2 million, mainly due to lower interest expenses, CCT said.

Revenue climbed 1.5 per cent in the period to $98.6 million, as most properties except One George Street contributed higher turnover.

Net property income, however, fell 1.3 per cent to $74.2 million on higher operating expenses.

For the whole of last year, CCT's distributable income came in at $234.2 million, 2.5 per cent higher than the previous year. This was on the back of higher net property income and lower interest expense.

Its revenue for 2013 rose 3 per cent from the previous year to $386.9 million.

Mr Kee Teck Koon, chairman of the trust's manager said the occupancy of CCT's properties reached 98.7 per cent at the end of December last year.

This was better than the previous quarter's figure of 97.6 per cent and also beat the core central business district's occupancy rate of 95.2 per cent as at the end of December.

The trust also secured higher rents for renewals. Its monthly average office portfolio rent increased to $8.13 per square foot per month as at Dec 31 last year, 6.4 per cent higher than a year ago.

CCT expects higher rents and revenue this year owing to the positive outlook for Singapore's office market, which will see limited new office supply this year and the next.

It will also benefit from a 40 per cent stake in the CapitaGreen development on the site of the former Market Street Carpark in Raffles Place, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter this year.

Ms Lynette Leong, the chief executive of the trust's manager, said: "CapitaGreen's completion at end-2014 is well timed to benefit from the uptick in office market rents."

She added: "CCT is well positioned to benefit from positive rent reversions for the remaining 10 per cent of office leases... that are due for rent review and renewal in 2014."