Ascott Reit's 4% drop in DPU due to one-off gains

The boss of Ascott Residence Trust Management expects revenue per serviced apartment in Singapore to remain flat.

But chief executive Ronald Tay anticipates revenue earned per unit in Europe, Japan, Vietnam and the Australian city of Melbourne will grow by up to 10 per cent this year.

Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) owns properties in these markets, along with several others around the globe, including in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Mr Tay said at a results briefing that there was "quite a lot of new supply coming into the Singapore market - about 4,000 hotel rooms this year, according to some estimates ".

The number of tourist arrivals this year would likely not be sufficient to move revenue per unit up, he added. "Last year, (inbound arrivals) was only about 15.1 million, which was actually a bit of a disappointment... It will probably stay flat this year in terms of RevPau (revenue per available unit)."

In contrast, Europe and Vietnam are in recovery and Japan would continue to do well, he said.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT: 2.07 cents (-4%)

    REVENUE: $119.2 million (+26%)

    DISTRIBUTABLE INCOME: $32.1 million (-3%)

Revenue per unit should grow 5 to 10 per cent for Japanese serviced apartments, and in Vietnam. It should grow up to 5 per cent in Europe and, in Melbourne, by at least 5 per cent this year.

Ascott Reit yesterday reported a 4 per cent drop in distribution per unit (DPU) for the three months to Dec 31, compared with the same period a year earlier. DPU for the fourth quarter was 2.07 cents.

The decrease was due to one-off gains of about $6.1 million in 2014. These arose from a foreign exchange gain from loan repayment and from reversing a provision for licensing-related matters, Ascott Reit said.

Without these gains, DPU for the fourth quarter would have risen 18 per cent from the year before.

DPU for the 12 months to Dec 31 also fell 3 per cent to 7.99 cents, owing to one-off items.

Mr Tay said Ascott Reit was hoping to provide a "stronger" DPU for this year, in the light of the renovations and acquisitions Ascott had undertaken.

Revenue for the three months rose 26 per cent to $119.2 million. Total distributable income came in at $32.1 million, down 3 per cent.

Revenue grew mainly because of the additional revenue of $21.9 million from properties acquired in the third quarter last year, Ascott Reit said. It announced in June that it was acquiring seven property assets in Australia and Japan for $298.3 million.

It also announced in July that it was acquiring a New York hotel for US$163.5 million (S$233.7 million).

Ascott Reit aims to grow its asset size to $6 billion by next year. Its shares closed 1.5 cents, or 1.36 per cent, up at $1.115 yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2016, with the headline 'Ascott Reit's 4% drop in DPU due to one-off gains'. Print Edition | Subscribe