Ascendas Reit's quarterly DPU slips 0.6%; its manager gets new CEO

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) posted a 0.6 per cent year-on-year dip in distribution per unit (DPU) to 3.97 cents for the third quarter of financial year 2017/2018, which came about due to a one-off property tax refund in the prior year and an increase in the number of units in issue.

Gross revenue rose 4.1 per cent to $217.28 million for the period under review, while net property income (NPI) was up 1.7 per cent to $157.63 million.

The increase in NPI was on the back of contributions from newly acquired properties such as 12, 14 and 16 Science Park Drive in Singapore and 100 Wickham Street in Australia, as well as a recently redeveloped property, 50 Kallang Avenue, in Singapore.

Meanwhile, total amount available for distribution edged up 1 per cent to $116.26 million.

Overall portfolio occupancy rate improved from 90.2 per cent a year ago to 91.1 per cent in the quarter under review. However, it declined from the 92 per cent seen in the quarter ended Sept 30 last year.

For its Singapore portfolio, occupancy fell to 88.8 per cent as of Dec 31 last year from 90.1 per cent as of Sept 30 last year, on the back of lower occupancies at 40 Penjuru Lane, Techpoint and The Alpha.

Rental reversion of about 3.1 per cent was achieved for renewed leases in multi-tenant buildings during the third quarter of financial year 2017/2018. The Singapore portfolio achieved positive rental reversion of 5.8 per cent while one lease in Australia was renewed at 1 per cent lower than the preceding average gross rent.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • GROSS REVENUE: $217.3 million (+4.1%)

    NET PROPERTY INCOME: $157.6 million (+1.7%)

    DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT: 3.97 cents (-0.6%)

About 4.5 per cent of Ascendas Reit's gross revenue will be due for renewal in the fourth quarter of financial year 2017/2018. Of the expiring leases, 0.9 per cent are from single-tenant buildings, and 3.6 per cent from multi-tenant buildings.

Ascendas Reit's portfolio comprises 101 properties in Singapore and 31 properties in Australia. Singapore accounts for 84 per cent of its portfolio by asset value.

Separately, it was also announced that Mr William Tay Wee Leong will be appointed executive director and chief executive of Ascendas Funds Management, the manager of Ascendas Reit, from Feb 1. Mr Tay is now deputy chief executive (Singapore and South-east Asia) of the Ascendas Singbridge Group (ASB).

Mr Tay is also CEO (South Korea) of ASB, overseeing its real estate private equity fund business and investments in South Korea.

Ascendas Reit closed at $2.75 yesterday, down two cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2018, with the headline 'Ascendas Reit's quarterly DPU slips 0.6%; its manager gets new CEO'. Print Edition | Subscribe