Suburban malls help Frasers Centrepoint Trust boost net income, distributions

SINGAPORE - A steady stream of shoppers and stronger rental revisions helped push up both revenues and income for Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT).

In particular, the FCT's suburban malls were the steady performers as rents and occupancy rates held up despite the weak retail sector, said Dr Chew Tuan Chiong, chief executive officer of Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management, the managers of FCT.

Gross revenue rose slightly 1.7 per cent to $47.5 million while net income also edged up 1.2 per cent to $31.7 million in the three months ended Sept 30.

Distribution per unit rose 2.7 per cent to 2.859 cents in the latest quarter.

Over the whole year, FCT has distributed 11.608 cents, 3.7 per cent higher than the previous year.

The 11.608 cents distribution over the past 12 months was FCT's the highest ever and the ninth consecutive yearly rise in DPU since the trust was listed.

This represented a 5.8 per cent yield based on this morning's FCT's price of $2.01.

If an investor had bought into the Reit a year ago at $1.91 and held it till today, the DPU of 11.608 cents would represent a 6.1 per cent yield.

FCT had a gearing of about 28.2 per cent as at Sept 30, while 75 per cent of its borrowings were either on fixed interest rates or hedged against further rate rises.

Net asset value per unit as at 30 September 2015 reached a new-high of $1.91, up 3.2 per cent compared with $1.85 a year ago.

Said Dr Chew: "Notwithstanding the uncertain economic outlook, FCT's well-located suburban malls which attract steady shopper traffic will contribute to the stability and sustainability of the portfolio's rental income and occupancy rates."