CapitaLand China Trust sees 40.1% jump in first-half distribution per unit

CLCT acquired the remaining 49 per cent interest it did not already own in Rock Square, a Guangzhou mall, in December.
CLCT acquired the remaining 49 per cent interest it did not already own in Rock Square, a Guangzhou mall, in December.PHOTO: CAPITALAND

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - CapitaLand China Trust (CLCT) has announced a distribution per unit (DPU) of 4.23 cents for the first half ended June 30, up 40.1 per cent from a DPU of 3.02 cents in the year-ago period, despite an enlarged unit base.

The increase comes on the back of a 72.9 per cent rise in distributable income (DI) to $64.1 million.

In a bourse filing on Thursday morning (July 29), CLCT's manager said the first-half growth was mainly due to new contributions from its business park portfolio, 100 per cent contribution from Rock Square and new contribution from CapitaMall Nuohemule, a mall in Inner Mongolia that opened this year.

CLCT had in December last year acquired the remaining 49 per cent interest in Rock Square, a mall in Guangzhou, that it did not already own.

The increased contributions from new properties were partially offset by the absence of contributions from CapitaMall Minzhongleyuan and CapitaMall Saihan, which have been sold.

"In view of effective pandemic control and rising vaccination rates in China, further normalisation of the country's economic activities is expected, which will lead to the expansion of consumer demand and business investments," said Mr Tan Tze Wooi, chief executive of the manager.

"Post mandate expansion, we have seized new opportunities to position CLCT as the proxy for growth in China's future economy," he added.

CLCT, formerly known as CapitaLand Retail China Trust, was renamed earlier this year to reflect the expansion of its investment mandate to include offices, business parks, logistics facilities, data centres and integrated projects.

Gross revenue grew 74.2 per cent to $176.9 million, while net property income (NPI) of $120.3 million was 84.4 per cent higher.

NPI was boosted by stronger operating performance at CLCT's malls, as well as higher occupancy and rental reversions at its business park properties.

The manager said year-on-year growth rates in NPI and DI were the highest since CLCT's listing in 2006.

The first-half DPU will be paid out on Sept 27.

On the retail front, CLCT's shopping malls saw portfolio occupancy gain 1 percentage point, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, to 95.4 per cent.

Portfolio tenant sales increased 40.8 per cent year on year in the first half, while shopper traffic rose 40.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, its business park portfolio registered occupancy of 94 per cent as at June 30.

As at end-June, CLCT's gearing stood at 35.9 per cent with an average term to maturity of 3.8 years.

CLCT units were trading at $1.38, up three cents or 2.2 per cent, at midday on Thursday.