CapitaMalls Trust's Q3 distribution per unit rises 6.2%

SINGAPORE - Higher rents and a rise in revenue from its renovated malls boosted third quarter distributions at CapitaMalls Trust (CMT).

Distribution per unit rose 6.2 per cent to 2.72 cents for the three months to Sept 30, its manager CapitaMall Trust Management said on Friday.

This will result in a distribution yield of 5.63 per cent for the quarter, based on CMT's closing price of $.915 per unit on Friday.

This brings its total payout for the nine months to Sept 30 to 7.98 cents per unit - 5.7 per cent up on the same period a year ago. The real estate investment trust (Reit) will pay unit holders their distributions on Nov 28.

CMT's distributable income rose to $93.7 million for the third quarter, 5.6 per cent higher than in the same period a year ago.

Gross revenue climbed 2.9 per cent in the same period to$164.6 million, while net property income increased 3.3 per cent to $114.1 million.

The Bugis Junction mall accounted for $3.4 million of the increase in gross revenue after it was recently renovated in September.

The refurbishment added more "specialty stores" such as Nike, Challenger and Skechers to the mall, said CMT.

The manager added that higher rents arising from new and renewed leases at its other malls accounted for $1.2 million of the higher turnover.

Occupancy at the firm's portfolio of malls was 98.5 per cent at the end of the third quarter, said Mr Wilson Tan, chief executive of the manager.

"Asset enhancement works for Bukit Panjang Plaza, Tampines Mall and IMM Building are progressing smoothly," said Mr Tan. "At JCube, all the 70 retail units at J.Avenue are fully committed."

Earnings per unit for the third quarter was 2.93 cents, up from 2.85 cents the same period a year ago. Net asset value as at Sept 30 came in at $1.79, up slightly from $1.74 as at Dec 31, 2013.

For the nine months to Sept 30, CMT's gross revenue rose 3.7 per cent over the previous year to $493.6 million, while net property income grew 4.3 per cent to $342.4 million.

Distributable income increased 5.5 per cent to $276.2 million from the year before.

The Reit renewed 417 tenant leases in the third quarter, at rates that were about 6.3 per cent higher than the preceding rentals, typically contracted three years ago.

CMT units closed one cent down at $1.915 on Friday.