Ascott Reit posts Q1 distribution per unit of 1.75 cents on higher revenue

SINGAPORE - Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) will pay a distribution per unit of 1.75 cents for the first three months of the year, it said on Thursday.

This is less than the 2.25 cents it paid in the same quarter last year, but would have been 5 per cent higher if last year's distribution was adjusted for the recent rights issue and the one-off foreign exchange gain last year, the Reit said.

Distributable income slipped 3 per cent to $26.7 million in the absence of the $8.1 million foreign exchange gain in the first quarter of last year.

First-quarter revenue rose 16 per cent from a year ago to $80.4 million, mainly due to additional contributions from Ascott Reit's acquisitions last year, as well as higher revenue from existing properties especially in Britain, France, Germany and Vietnam.

Ascott Residence Trust Management chairman Lim Jit Poh noted that the Reit has continued to acquire "quality assets" in the first three months of this year: its first serviced residence in Dalian in China and a second property in Fukuoka, Japan.

"We expect our properties' performance to remain stable as the global economy strengthens. Ascott Reit's extended stay business model and geographical diversification will continue to provide income stability," Mr Lim added.

Mr Ronald Tay, chief executive of Ascott Residence Trust Management, noted that the Reit's revenue per available unit rose between 11 per cent and 18 per cent in Japan, Britain and Belgium.

"This was mainly due to strong demand from corporate and leisure travellers," he said. "We are also seeing signs of improvement for our properties in Singapore and Vietnam due to higher demand from executives on project assignments."