CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) had a solid start to the year with the contribution from a newly acquired mall helping push up its distribution to unitholders.
CMT's gross revenue rose 7.4 per cent to $179.8 million in the three months to March 31 over the same period a year earlier, while net property income jumped 8.6 per cent to $127.9 million.This led to a 4.2 per cent increase in income distributable to unitholders to $96.7 million. Distribution per unit was 2.73 cents, up 1.9 per cent compared with a year ago.
Earnings per unit was 3.15 cents for the first quarter, 6.4 per cent ahead from a year earlier, while net asset value was $1.88 per unit as at March 31, down from $1.89 at the end of December.
CMT has a portfolio of 16 malls across Singapore's downtown and suburban areas.
The key boost for earnings in the period was a $14.6 million contribution from the acquisition of Bedok Mall in October last year. Higher rentals from IMM Building and new or renewed leases from other malls also helped.
AT A GLANCE
$179.8 million (+7.4%)
NET PROPERTY INCOME:
$127.9 million (+8.6%)
DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT:
2.73 cents (+1.9%)
But there were also signs of stress, with CMT getting less revenue from JCube due to lower occupancy, while the sale of Rivervale Mall in December also took away some recurring income.
"Despite the challenging macro environment, CMT registered year-on-year growth of 4.9 per cent in shopper traffic and 4.6 per cent in tenants' sales in the first quarter. Portfolio occupancy as at March 31 remained high at 97.7 per cent," said Mr Wilson Tan, chief executive of CMT Management Limited, CMT's manager.
Several initiatives are under way to unlock more value from the portfolio, Mr Tan noted, pointing to the start of the redevelopment of Funan DigitaLife Mall in the second half this year.
"In addition, we will continue to make progress with the (renovations) for Plaza Singapura, Bukit Panjang Plaza and Tampines Mall," he added.
CMT units closed up three cents or 1.4 per cent at $2.17 yesterday, ahead of the results announcement.