Ascott Reit gets New York boost

Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) yesterday posted a 1 per cent drop in distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.04 cents for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, down from 2.07 cents a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter rose 6 per cent to $126.7 million, mainly due to the additional revenue of $11.9 million from Ascott Reit's acquisition of Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel last year.

The increase was partially offset by a decrease in revenue of $4.4 million from existing properties, mainly in China, as well as Britain due to the depreciation of the pound against the Singapore dollar.

Distribution income for the quarter, which grew 6 per cent to $33.9 million, included a net realised exchange gain of $2 million arising from the repayment of foreign currency bank loans with the divestment proceeds from Fortune Garden Apartments and repayment of shareholders' loan from the group's subsidiaries.

Mr Ronald Tay, chief executive of the trust's manager, noted that revenue per available unit (Revpau) during the quarter in Britain grew 3 per cent due to stronger corporate demand, with average occupancy remaining stable at above 80 per cent.


  • DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT: 2.04 cents (-1%)

    REVENUE: $126.7 million (+6%)

    REVPAU S$/DAY: $148 (+2%)

"More leisure travellers at our serviced residences in Japan also lifted Revpau by 3 per cent."

"Performance at our Vietnam properties is improving because of higher commercial rent and more guests on extended stay," he added.

For the full year, DPU rose 4 per cent to 8.27 cents.

Full-year distributable income rose 9 per cent to a record high of $135 million while revenue was up 13 per cent to $475.6 million.

"The strong performance was due to our acquisitions of quality assets over the last two years, and our active capital and asset management," said Mr Bob Tan, chairman of the trust's manager.

"We acquired Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel last year and our two prime properties in New York enjoy high average occupancy of over 90 per cent.

"The US market was our top contributor to revenue in 2016 and it is now among our top five markets in terms of asset value."

He added: "We are actively seeking accretive acquisitions in gateway cities in markets such as Australia, Japan, Europe and the US. We will also look at divesting of properties with limited growth potential and redeploying the proceeds to higher yielding assets."

Mr Tan said the acquisition of Ascott Orchard Singapore, which had a soft opening last month, is on track for completion this year.

This will boost Ascott Reit's asset size to $5.2 billion.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Ascott Reit gets New York boost'. Print Edition | Subscribe