Company Briefs: Ascott Reit

Ascott Reit

Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) yesterday reported an 8 per cent rise in its distribution per unit (DPU) to 1.98 cents for the second quarter ended June 30, from 1.84 cents a year ago. Adjusted for one-off items, the Singapore-listed hospitality trust's DPU would have been 1.84 cents, unchanged from the previous payout.

For the quarter, net income before changes in fair value rose 36 per cent to $50.4 million, up from $37.1 million last year.

Distribution to unit holders for Q2 also grew 8 per cent to $43.1 million, on the back of stronger portfolio performance, lower finance costs and a one-off realised exchange gain, said Ascott Reit's manager. It added that the realised exchange gain of $3.1 million for Q2 arose from the repayment of foreign currency bank loans with the divestment proceeds from Ascott Raffles Place Singapore.

For the three months ended June 30, revenue was up 2 per cent to $132.5 million. Meanwhile, gross profit climbed 7 per cent to $67.6 million, and revenue per available unit for Q2 came in at $158 a day, representing a 2 per cent increase from the year-ago period.

The trust adopted the FRS 116 standard for lease accounting with effect from Jan 1 this year, which affects the treatment of leases. When the impact of FRS 116 is removed, gross profit would have fallen 1 per cent to $62.5 million for the three months ended June 30.

Sony Corp

Japan's Sony Corp surprised the market by reporting yesterday a record first-quarter operating profit despite the slowing gaming business, as strong demand for multiple-lens camera systems for smartphones boosted sales of image sensors, Reuters reported.

The electronics firm posted an operating profit of 230.93 billion yen (S$2.9 billion) for the April-June quarter, up 18.4 per cent from a year earlier and overshooting a consensus estimate of 173.61 billion yen from eight analysts compiled by Refinitiv.

The company, which has had two straight years of record profits, maintained its profit forecast for the year ending March at 810 billion yen. The imaging and sensing business, which includes image sensors, posted a profit of 49.5 billion yen, up from 29.1 billion yen a year earlier, comfortably offsetting a 9.6 billion drop in profit at the gaming business, its biggest profit earner.

The stock hit 11-year highs in September but has been battered this year by worries that profit at the gaming business has peaked.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe