CIT hit by expiry of master leases

Cambridge Industrial Trust (CIT) reported a 12.6 per cent drop in its distribution per unit (DPU) to 0.996 cent for the fourth quarter, compared with 1.139 cents a year ago.

Gross revenue dipped 2.5 per cent for the three months to Dec 31 to $27.8 million while net property income was 8.8 per cent lower at $19.7 million.

The revenue drop was mainly due to several master leases expiring and being converted to multi-tenancy, and divestment of properties.

For the full year, DPU fell 12.9 per cent to 4.173 cents from 4.793 cents.

"While 2016 was a tough year for the industry as a whole, we remained focused on strengthening fundamentals and sustaining value. The strategy of capital recycling and divestment of non-core properties in FY2016 enabled the trust to remain nimble in a challenging environment," said Mr Shane Hagan, acting chief executive of the trust's manager.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT: 0.996 cent (-12.6%)

  • GROSS REVENUE: $27.8 million (-2.5%)

  • NET PROPERTY INCOME: $19.7 million (-8.8%)

"Despite keen market competition, CIT has successfully leased 1.67 million sq ft of space during the year with pro-active occupancy management, a jump from 1.2 million sq ft in FY2015.

"We maintained a high portfolio occupancy rate of 94.7 per cent, with a healthy 88 per cent retention rate achieved for our multi-tenanted properties," he added.

e-Shang Redwood (ESR), a pan-Asia logistics real estate developer, has completed the acquisition of an aggregate indirect 80 per cent stake in the trust's manager from National Australia Bank and Oxley Global.

Commenting on the way forward for CIT, Mr Hagan said: "ESR is a strong strategic partner with complementary strengths, industrial experience and presence, which will position the trust well for the next stage of our growth."

As at Dec 31, the CIT group has 49 properties in Singapore, with about 215 tenants across a wide range of sectors, including logistics, warehousing, light industrial, car showroom and workshop.

The portfolio has a carrying value of about $1.35 billion and a total gross floor area of about 8.4 million sq ft.

CIT units ended half a cent higher yesterday at 56.5 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2017, with the headline 'CIT hit by expiry of master leases'. Print Edition | Subscribe