Rising China retail sales lift CRCT's Q2 distributions

SINGAPORE - Steady economic growth and rising retail sales in China helped CapitaRetail China Trust (CRCT) raise its second-quarter distribution per unit by 8.8 per cent over a year ago to 2.59 cents.

The mall trust's distributable income increased 18.7 per cent in the time to $21.3 million, while net property income rose 29.5 per cent to $34.2 million.

Revenue climbed 27.5 per cent to $51 million, the trust's manager CapitaRetail China Trust Management said on Thursday.

"In the second quarter of 2014, China's economy expanded 7.5 per cent year-on-year and in the first half of the year, the country's retail sales rose by 12.1 per cent year-on-year to 12.4 trillion yuan (S$2.5 trillion)," said Mr Victor Liew, chairman of the trust's manager.

"With the Chinese government's strong commitment to balanced and sustainable long-term growth, CRCT remains upbeat on China's retail sales prospects."

Sales of tenants in the trust's multi-tenanted malls rose 13.6 per cent in the quarter over the previous year while shopper traffic grew 5.5 per cent, noted Mr Tony Tan, chief executive officer of the trust's manager.

Unitholders of CRCT can choose to receive part or all of their distributions in the form of new units in the trust instead of cash.

Those choosing this option will get a 2 per cent discount for the new units, based on the volume-weighted average price per unit for 10 trading days until the book closure date on August 8.