CapitaLand's residential, retail and lodging businesses sees fallout from Covid-19

CapitaLand's business parks, logistics and multifamily properties have remained relatively resilient. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - CapitaLand's lodging business saw first-quarter fee income drop 9 per cent year on year to $54.2 million, while revenue per available unit (revPAU) fell 22 per cent to $84 from $108 the year before, according to the group's Q1 business update on Monday (May 4).

This comes amid a standstill in travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 30 lodging properties across the portfolio were closed, either in response to local governments' mandates or to streamline resources, as at March 31.

CapitaLand said the full extent of impact on revPAU is not ascertainable yet, but the group remains positive on the sector's longer-term prospects.

The property giant on Monday said the coronavirus' impact was primarily concentrated within its residential, retail and lodging businesses, according to its update.

The group's business parks, logistics and multifamily properties have remained relatively resilient.

Under its development segment, the group recorded sales of close to 900 million yuan ($180 million) in March for its residential segment, which was more than the combined sales value for January and February.

For retail, which also falls under the development segment, the group saw a sharp drop in shopper traffic which led to lower retail sales and net property income growth.

Shopper traffic in Singapore fell 10.8 per cent year on year in Q1. Around 25 per cent of the group's tenants categorised as essential services stayed open during the country's "circuit-breaker" period, based on the number of leases as at April 20.

In China, Q1 shopper traffic lost 52 per cent from a year ago. As at April 19, more than 85 per cent of tenants are back in operation.

Recurring fee income from the group's fund management business remained relatively stable during the quarter.

"While our financial position continues to be healthy, our business activities have been affected," the group said.

It added that this will, in turn, have an adverse impact on the group's financial performance for the year. This potentially includes, but not limited to, profitability, credit metrics, the valuation of CapitaLand's investment properties and capital recycling.

CapitaLand shares were trading at $2.90 as at 9.16am on Monday, down $0.11 or 3.7 per cent.

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