CMT raises first-quarter DPU by 3.6% as Westgate lifts revenue

Westgate mall in Jurong. CapitaLand Mall Trust took full ownership of Westgate in November after acquiring an additional 70 per cent stake. The consolidation of Westgate's full income was a key reason for the rise in revenue in the first quarter.
Westgate mall in Jurong. CapitaLand Mall Trust took full ownership of Westgate in November after acquiring an additional 70 per cent stake. The consolidation of Westgate's full income was a key reason for the rise in revenue in the first quarter.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

The full acquisition of Westgate mall in Jurong late last year helped CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) lift its first-quarter payout.

Distribution per unit is up 3.6 per cent to 2.88 cents over the 2.78 cents the retail landlord paid out in the same period last year. Net property income for the three months to March 31 grew 11.5 per cent to $140.1 million, while gross revenue rose 10 per cent to $192.7 million. Distributable income was up 7.4 per cent to $106.3 million.

The trust took full ownership of Westgate in November after acquiring an additional 70 per cent stake. The consolidation of Westgate's full income was a key reason for the rise in revenue in the first quarter. Bedok and Tampines malls also contributed to the higher number, partially offset by lower gross turnover from Sembawang Shopping Centre, which was divested last June.

Mr Tony Tan, chief executive of the real estate investment trust's (Reit's) manager, said the new Funan mall is expected to contribute progressively to earnings from the second half of this year. The complex in the central business district is opening mid-year and is about 90 per cent leased.

The Reit's aggregate leverage stood at 34.4 per cent on March 31, compared with 34.2 per cent as at the end of 2018. The manager is cautious in its outlook given the economic slowdown across the world.

Competition among malls is expected to intensify, with new retail space of about one million sq ft - excluding Funan - coming on stream this year, Mr Tan noted.

Mr Tony Tan, chief executive of the real estate investment trust's (Reit's) manager, said the new Funan mall is expected to contribute progressively to earnings from the second half of this year. The complex in the central business district is opening mid-year and is about 90 per cent leased.

CMT units closed 1.72 per cent up at $2.36 yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'CMT raises first-quarter DPU by 3.6% as Westgate lifts revenue'. Print Edition | Subscribe