Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) yesterday reported a 7 per cent rise in its distribution per unit (DPU) to 1.45 cents for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, from 1.35 Singapore cents a year ago.
Adjusted for one-off items, the Singapore-listed hospitality trust's DPU would have been 1.33 cents, up 4 per cent from the previous payout of 1.28 cents. Net income before changes in fair value rose 4 per cent to $34.8 million, up from $33.3 million last year.
Distribution to unit-holders for the first quarter grew 8 per cent to $31.5 million, due to better operating performance, lower financing costs and higher one-off realised exchange gain, said Ascott Reit's manager. It said the realised exchange gain of $2.6 million for the quarter arose from the repayment of foreign currency bank loans, with a 15 per cent deposit received for the divestment of Ascott Raffles Place Singapore, announced in January. The divestment is expected to be completed this month.
For the quarter, revenue was up 3 per cent to $115.9 million, mainly attributable to stronger performance from the Reit's properties in Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Philippines. Meanwhile, gross profit climbed 12 per cent to $54.6 million, and revenue per available unit for Q1 came in at $133 per day, representing a 3 per cent increase from the year-ago period.
Ho Bee Land
Lower sales and profit recognition from its residential development project in Shanghai, as the project is almost fully sold, caused Ho Bee Land's first-quarter net profit to fall 44 per cent to $27.7 million, it said yesterday.
The year-on-year decline in net profit was primarily due to a drop in the share of profits from associates amounting to $4.3 million, from $28.5 million a year ago, it said. The group incurred net losses of jointly controlled entities of $400,000, versus a net profit of $1.7 million a year ago, largely due to the loss from its residential project in Tangshan.
For the three months ended March 31, 2019, revenue rose 8 per cent to $52.4 million, thanks to higher rental income which rose 36 per cent to $51.2 million, mostly due to an increase in rental income from Ropemaker Place in London, which it acquired in June 2018.
In contrast, sale of development properties dropped a whopping 89 per cent to $1.2 million, as the group had sold a small site in Gold Coast, Australia, for A$5.5 million (S$5.3 million) and also sold more units in its Australian development projects such as Rhapsody in Gold Coast and Pearl in Melbourne in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
For the quarter, earnings per share was 4.16 cents, compared to 7.42 cents a year ago.