Higher DPU in fourth quarter for Ascendas India Trust

Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) has upped its distribution per unit (DPU) by 10 per cent to 1.54 cents for the fourth quarter, thanks to better income from new acquisitions and positive rental reversions.

This brings the trust's full-year DPU to 5.69 cents, 3 per cent higher than that in the year before. The trustee-manager Ascendas Property Fund Trustee yesterday posted a 25 per cent jump in net property income to $29 million for the three months ended March 31.

Total property income grew 23 per cent to $44.2 million.

Net property income for the full year was 11 per cent higher at $104.2 million, while total property income climbed 9 per cent to $156.7 million.

Earnings per unit for the quarter was 9.86 cents, up on 7.85 cents previously. Net asset value was 81 cents as at March 31, higher than the 69 cents as at the same time a year earlier.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • Q4 NET PROPERTY INCOME: $29 million (+25%)

  • Q4 TOTAL PROPERTY INCOME: $44.2 million (+23%)

  • Q4 DISTRIBUTION PER UNIT: 1.54 cents (+10%)

The trustee-manager said the valuation of the trust's portfolio increased by 27 per cent to $1.4 billion from a year ago - lifted by the acquisition of BlueRidge 2, the completion of Victor building and higher portfolio rents.

The trust's committed portfolio occupancy was 98 per cent, excluding BlueRidge 2, while its gearing ratio stood at 29 per cent as at March 31.

Mr Sanjeev Dasgupta, chief executive of the trustee-manager, said the trust has a healthy development and acquisition pipeline to scale up further.

The trust's land bank can yield an additional 3 million square feet of commercial space in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, he said. In Hyderabad, the trust also has a forward purchase agreement to buy an additional 1.8 million sq ft of space.

"Besides investing in quality IT parks, we are seeking opportunities to expand into the fastgrowing logistics sector by acquiring investment-grade warehouses," said Mr Dasgupta.

"The Indian logistics sector is supported by healthy growth in the Indian economy and other favourable macro factors, including Goods and Services Tax reform and rapid growth in e-commerce. In addition to providing diversification of asset class to our existing portfolio, the logistics sector would provide a new avenue of growth for the trust."

In Hyderabad, a-iTrust is developing Atria, a 428,000 sq ft building, while in Bangalore, it is planning a new 500,000 sq ft building. a-iTrust units closed 0.9 per cent or one cent higher at $1.135 yesterday, before the results were announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'Higher DPU in fourth quarter for Ascendas India Trust'. Print Edition | Subscribe