Ascott Reit's Q4 DPU surges 62% to 2.16 cents

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit), part of the CapitaLand group, announced on Thursday (Jan 22) that its distribution per unit (DPU) surged 62 per cent to 2.16 cents for the foruth quarter of 2014 compared to the eyar-ago period.

Unit-holders' distribution for the quarter grew 26 per cent to $33.1 million, while its full year distribution for 2014 increased 9 per cent to a record high of $125.6 million, compared with 2013.

Revenue for the fourth quarter rose 13 per cent to $95 million, largely due to the additional income from new properties acquired in 2014, and stronger contribution from existing properties. In line with the increase in revenue, gross profit was up 10 per cent to $45.7 million.

Said Mr Lim Jit Poh, chairman of Ascott Residence Trust Management (ARTM): "Ascott Reit made remarkable achievements in 2014, ending the year with a strong quarter. We acquired nine quality assets with over 1,800 units across seven cities for a total of $559.1 million. They were one property each in Fukuoka and Tokyo as well as our first serviced residences in Kuala Lumpur, Dalian, Wuhan, Xi'an and Greater Sydney.

"As a result, Ascott Reit's portfolio has expanded to more than 10,500 apartments units. Its asset size has also quadrupled to $4.1 billion since its initial public offering, making it the largest hospitality trust listed on the Singapore Exchange by total asset value."

Mr Lim added: "In 2015, we will continue to actively seek accretive acquisitions in key cities of Asia Pacific and Europe to enhance unit-holders' returns. We expect the operational performance of our properties to remain healthy given Ascott Reit's resilient extended-stay business model."

Mr Ronald Tay, ARTM's chief executive officer, said: "Our extensive refurbishment programme continued to further enhance Ascott Reit's portfolio. In the fourth quarter of 2014, revenue per available unit (RevPAU) for Spain rose 88 per cent as our refurbished Citadines Ramblas Barcelona was well-received by guests.

"RevPAU for Australia increased 74 per cent due to higher demand for the renovated apartments at Citadines St Georges Terrace Perth while strong operations of our serviced residences in Japan grew RevPAU by 14 per cent."

Mr Tay added: "Other key achievements in 2014 were our maiden issuances of $150 million perpetual securities and 80 million euros of 10-year unsecured bonds. These will provide us with greater financial flexibility to further grow Ascott Reit's portfolio.

"Besides actively pursuing acquisitions, we will continue to enhance our assets and are on track to complete the refurbishment of Somerset Grand Central Dalian, Somerset Olympic Tower Tianjin, Somerset Xu Hui Shanghai and Somerset Ho Chi Minh City in 2015."