Higher rental income and better expense management helped SPH Reit lift first-quarter distribution, said its manager yesterday.
Income available for distribution to unit holders was $35.3 million for the three months to Nov 30, up 3.8 per cent from the same period a year earlier.
Distribution per unit (DPU) was maintained at 1.33 cents for the quarter, unchanged from a year earlier. It will be paid on Feb 15.
Gross revenue grew 2.9 per cent to $52.1 million while net property income climbed 5.9 per cent to $40.1 million in the first quarter.
SPH Reit Management said the two properties under management - Paragon and Clementi Mall - continued to demonstrate resilience and achieved positive rental reversion.
Paragon's occupancy was 99.8 per cent as at Nov 30. The marginal dip from full occupancy was due to the timing of space amalgamation to create a contiguous unit.
"The relatively moderate rental uplift at Paragon of 3.2 per cent for new or renewed leases in the quarter was mainly due to the prevailing weak retail sentiment," said the Reit manager.
Clementi Mall remained fully leased, with a positive rental reversion of 5.4 per cent for renewal during the quarter.
Paragon continued to see healthy leasing demand, and welcomed several international retailers such as Loewe, Ralph Lauren Children, Lalique and APM Monaco, said the manager.
It will continue to focus efforts to revitalise the tenant mix, strengthen various clusters and enhance the premier positioning of Paragon.
Ms Susan Leng, chief executive of the Reit manager, said: "We are pleased that SPH Reit has continued to deliver steady financial and operating performance.
"To sustain returns to unit holders, we will continue to build firm partnership with tenants and pursue opportunities to reinforce the positioning of our properties."
SPH Reit has a gearing ratio of 25.7 per cent, and a weighted average debt maturity term of 2.7 years as at Nov 30 last year.
It is offsetting its exposure to interest rate risk by putting 84.7 per cent of its total borrowing on fixed rates, said the Reit manager.
Ms Leng said: "The Air Handling Unit decanting project at Paragon is progressing on schedule. We have identified an asset-enhancement initiative for Clementi Mall, which will create a more efficient layout and increase the range and depth of merchandise to drive higher sales.
"Both projects will create value and strengthen the long-term sustainability of the properties. We are confident that our philosophy of continual asset enhancement will sustain future performance."
SPH Reit units closed 0.5 cent higher at 95.5 cents yesterday.