Wisma and Ngee Ann City malls cushion Q1 earnings for Starhill Global Reit

A solid performance from the Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City shopping malls helped lift earnings at Starhill Global Reit for the first quarter this year, factoring out exceptional items from last year. -- PHOTO: YTL STARHILL GLOBAL REIT MANAGEMENT
A solid performance from the Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City shopping malls helped lift earnings at Starhill Global Reit for the first quarter this year, factoring out exceptional items from last year. -- PHOTO: YTL STARHILL GLOBAL REIT MANAGEMENT

A solid performance from the Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City shopping malls helped lift earnings at Starhill Global Reit for the first quarter this year, factoring out exceptional items from last year.

Distribution per unit (DPU) for the three months to March 31 was 1.24 cents, which was 5.1 per cent higher than in the year before, the reit said on Tuesday.

Net property income for the period rose 2.5 per cent to $39.1 million and income available for distribution climbd 7.2 per cent to $27.9 million.

These figures all factor out a one-off payout that the real estate investment trust (reit) received in the first quarter last year. Including the one-off item, however, DPU tumbled 9.5 per cent, net property income fell 6.7 per cent and income available for distribution dropped 6.4 per cent from the preceding year.

YTL Starhill Global chairman Francis Yeoh said in a statement that the reit "continued to benefit from the strong performances of its Singapore and Australia portfolios in the first quarter".

He noted that since the start of last year, the Reit has sold around $22 million worth of "non-core" assets and invested about $60 million to strengthen its portfolio of prime retail properties in the Asia Pacific region.

Economies in Asia should continue to grow on the back of a "progressive recovery in most advanced economies", he said, adding that the Reit would continue to look for good buys in its core markets.

Starhill Global Reit units lost half a cent to close at 81.5 cents on Tuesday.