CapitaLand reports improving operational performance for Q1

CapitaLand's total assets under management stood at $137.7 billion as at March 31, 2021. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - CapitaLand said its operational recovery across its portfolio asset classes has continued from the second half of 2020 into the first quarter of 2021, albeit at a varied pace across geographies.

In a business update on Wednesday morning (May 12), the property giant reported a recovery in its full suite of businesses in China and a resilient international portfolio, but cautioned that residential development in Singapore may be "tempered by increasing construction costs".

It nonetheless expects operational performance for the Singapore portfolio to remain stable despite the possible impact of recently tightened Covid-19 measures on shopper traffic.

In India, where a severe second wave of Covid-19 has resulted in heightened restrictions, CapitaLand said its overall portfolio occupancy level remains "stable" at over 90 per cent, with "healthy" office rent collections at 98 per cent for the quarter.

The group also intends to focus on securing new residential projects in Vietnam, where its residential housing market is expected to recover further this year.

As at March 31, 2021, total assets under management stood at $137.7 billion.

Total fee income grew 9 per cent year on year to $203.6 million for the first quarter of 2021 from $186.7 million in the previous corresponding period. The increase was mainly attributed to higher Reit (real estate investment trust) and private fund management fees corresponding to funds under management growth during the quarter.

Fee-related earnings notably rose 30 per cent year on year, driven by higher transactional activities due to improved market sentiments. Fund management fee income for the quarter also picked up year on year due to improved capital recycling, according to the group.

In terms of real estate transactions, CapitaLand said its total year-to-date investments across the group have hit $2.7 billion, with about 95 per cent invested into new economy assets. The group's total year-to-date divestments stood at $1 billion.

Total group cash stood at $14.8 billion as at end-March.

With a debt maturity profile of 3½ years, the group said its net debt-to-equity of 0.65 times corresponds to nearly $1.8 billion of implied debt headroom for potential liquidity needs and underwriting growth opportunities. It has an interest coverage ratio of 1.1 times.

Shares of CapitaLand closed four cents, or 1.1 per cent, lower at $3.58 on Tuesday.

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