Net profit for Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust sinks on exchange rates, higher costs

Indiabulls Properties Investment Trust has posted a 92 per cent drop in net profit for its third quarter, as unfavourable currency movements caused total income to fall.

Net profit for the three months ended Dec 31 last year sank to $178,000, from $2.2 million a year ago, according to financial statements filed with the Singapore Exchange on Friday.

Rental income declined to $20.1 million in the quarter from $22.7 million the previous year, mainly due to the appreciation of the Singapore dollar against the Indian rupee, the trust said. It owns prime office properties and premium luxury residential projects in Mumbai, India.

Despite the fall in income, property expenses for the trust rose 20 per cent in the quarter over a year ago to $8.7 million.

In particular, legal and professional fees jumped 168 per cent in the period, largely because of a $1.6 million marketing services commission, the trust said. The fees amount to 2 per cent of the sale price of any strata sales of the properties in the trust's portfolio.

The group's net asset value per unit slipped to 34.68 cents as at Dec 31 last year, down from 38.98 cents as at Mar 31 last year.

"The slowdown in Indian economic growth and the slowdown in expansion of business activity have had an adverse effect on the office and residential real estate markets in India," the trust said in its financial statements.

"We are also witnessing moderate take up in leasing (and) sale activity" and flat or falling office rentals and residential rates, it added.