Ascendas Reit's Q3 distribution per unit rises 1.2% to 3.993 cents

SINGAPORE - Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas Reit) said its third quarter distribution per unit rose by 1.2 per cent to 3.993 cents.

This was on the back of a 9 per cent increase in net property income to $155 million for the three months to Dec 31, mainly due to contributions from the acquisition of the Australian portfolio and ONE@Changi City. However, the results were partially offset by the loss of income from the divestments of A-Reit City @Jinqiao, Ascendas Z-Link and Four Acres Singapore.

Total amount available for distribution for the quarter soared 19.2 per cent to $115.1 million.

Mr Chia Nam Toon, chief executive officer and executive director of the Reit manager said operating performance remained resilient during the quarter, underpinned by the Reit's diverse property portfolio and proactive portfolio management.

"The new acquisitions will broaden and strengthen our resilience in view of the expected challenging business environment," he added.

Last month, the manager announced that Ascendas Reit would buy the property at 12, 14 and 16 Science Park Drive for $420 million from its sponsor, the Ascendas-Singbridge Group.

The property is fully occupied and leased to two tenants: DSO National Laboratories (Singapore's national defence research & development organisation) and DNV GL Singapore (a Norwegian risk management company).

The leases have a weighted average lease expiry of 16.2 years and built-in rental escalation of 2.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent per annum.

During the quarter, enhancement works worth about $7.7 million commenced at The Gemini.

The main and lift lobbies, corridors, staircases and other common areas will be upgraded and improved to enhance the marketability of the building.

The asset enhancement at Akzonobel House was completed last month for $6.5 million. Occupancy of the property has improved to 93.6 per cent from 73.5 per cent in September.

Meanwhile, Ascendas Reit completed the divestment of A-Reit City @Jinqiao for $221.6 million during the quarter and realised capital gains of about $94.4 million over the original cost of investment.

Positive rent reversion of about 3 per cent was achieved for leases renewed in Singapore during the quarter.