MCT bucks headwinds as Q3 DPU rises 9.6%

VivoCity mall had higher shopper traffic in the quarter, up 6.7 per cent year on year. Sales were up by 2 per cent from a year earlier.
VivoCity mall had higher shopper traffic in the quarter, up 6.7 per cent year on year. Sales were up by 2 per cent from a year earlier.PHOTO: MCT

Gross revenue up 47.4% with big boost from recently acquired Mapletree Business City I

Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) delivered a higher distribution per unit (DPU) in the third quarter, thanks to stronger performance from some portfolio assets.

DPU for the three months to Dec 31 rose 9.6 per cent from a year earlier to 2.28 cents, the trust manager said yesterday.

This came off a sharp 48.2 per cent rise in income available for distribution to $65.59 million while gross revenue surged 47.4 per cent to $108.76 million.

Net property income turned in a similar effort, shooting up 49 per cent to $84.36 million.

"In an environment that continued to face headwinds as well as external and domestic uncertainties, our portfolio remained resilient," said Ms Sharon Lim, chief executive of trust manager Mapletree Commercial Trust Management.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • GROSS REVENUE: $108.76 million (+47.4%)

  • NET PROPERTY INCOME: $84.36 million (+49%)

  • DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT: 2.28 cents (+9.6%)

It attributed the higher revenue to a $31 million contribution from the recently acquired Mapletree Business City I and contributions from VivoCity mall, office tower Mapletree Anson and integrated development PSA Building.

The fifth property under its portfolio is the six-storey Bank of America Merrill Lynch HarbourFront.

VivoCity's turnover for the quarter came in $2.6 million higher than for the same period in 2015, driven mainly by higher rental income garnered for new and renewed leases, the trust manager noted.

The mall also saw higher shopper traffic in the quarter, up 6.7 per cent year on year. Sales were up by 2 per cent from a year earlier.

It added that revenue for Mapletree Anson and PSA Building rose on the back of higher occupancy and rental income growth.

Overall portfolio occupancy was healthy at 99 per cent as at Dec 31, up from 98.8 per cent at the end of September.

Quarterly earnings per unit came in at 2.15 cents, up from the restated 1.93 cents a year ago.

Net asset value per unit was $1.34 as at Dec 31, higher than $1.30 at the end of March.

The trust has a leverage ratio of 37 per cent. About 81.2 per cent of its total debt comprises fixed-rate debt or interest rate swaps to guard against the risk of rate hikes.

Despite challenging conditions in the office and retail space sectors, the manager is optimistic about business outlook.

"MCT's properties are expected to remain relatively resilient, supported by VivoCity's healthy performance in a challenging wider retail market and manageable expiries in its office/business park portfolio in the next 12 months," the trust manager said.

MCT units closed a cent lower at $1.48 yesterday, before the earnings were announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2017, with the headline 'MCT bucks headwinds as Q3 DPU rises 9.6%'. Print Edition | Subscribe