Soilbuild Reit's Q4 distribution per unit beats forecast

SINGAPORE - Soilbuild Reit has posted a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.585 cents for the three months to Dec 31, 5.9 per cent higher than the forecast in its initial public offering.

This represents the sixth consecutive quarter of outperformance since Soilbuild Reit's IPO debuted in August 2013.

The improved performance was mainly due to higher income from the recently acquired properties, which was partially offset by higher property tax incurred for West Park BizCentral.

For the full year, the Reit recorded a DPU of 6.193 cents.

Its outperformance was largely driven by new acquisitions, higher income from Eightrium @ Changi Business Park due to new take up of space over a previously vacant area, as well as the pre-termination income recognised at West Park BizCentral in the first quarter.

Looking forward, the industrial property sector continues to have a mixed outlook this year.

Industrialists are expected to remain cost sensitive and take longer to evaluate their business space needs - on the back of a declining manufacturing output in Singapore, as well as a fragile global economic outlook and lingering global risks, such as the ongoing oil and gas crisis.

However, some analysts have noted that properties with higher building specifications, such as those located within the business parks, as well as high-tech industrial properties, could see some upside due to a tightening in supply.

Business park and high-tech space are also expected to benefit from the increase in office rents, which will drive tenants who qualify for industrial space to look to more affordable alternatives.

On the other hand, rents for conventional industrial space may not fare as well due to mounting supply pressures.

As Soilbuild Reit has a majority of its portfolio focused in the business parks and hispecifications sector, management expects it to maintain a stable performance, barring any unforeseen events and subject to renewing and re-leasing a large portion of the space that expires this year.