SPH Reit Q1 DPU down 13% to 1.2 cents

Retail activity at Paragon remains affected by Singapore's border restrictions.
Retail activity at Paragon remains affected by Singapore's border restrictions.ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - SPH Reit has declared a first-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.2 cents, down from 1.38 cents in the year-ago period.

The lower DPU, down by 13 per cent year on year, was "in line with the gradual Covid-19 recovery in both Singapore and Australia", said the manager in an interim business update on Wednesday (Jan 13).

This came even as gross revenue rose by 10.8 per cent year on year to $66.6 million, for the three months to Nov 30, 2020.

Reit turnover was shored up by South Australia's Westfield Marion, which was acquired in December 2019, as well as stable contributions from Figtree Grove in New South Wales.

On the other hand, the Reit's Singapore assets saw a decline in gross revenue, attributed to rental relief for tenants affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The flagship Paragon contributed $38.5 million to the top line, down from $44.2 million before.

Retail activity at Paragon remains affected by Singapore's border restrictions. The Clementi Mall has taken a hit from work-from-home arrangements, the manager said. Still, it added that footfall and tenant sales across its Singapore shopping centres recovered during the year-end festive period.

Meanwhile, in Australia, tenant sales at both Westfield Marion and Figtree Grove "are recovering steadily to near pre-Covid-19 levels", the manager noted.

SPH Reit had $1.3 billion in debt as at Nov 30, 2020, up from $1.1 billion the year before. The weighted average term to maturity was 2.7 years.

The manager said that it is refinancing $215 million in loans maturing by July 2021, while revolving credit facilities of $225 million remain available and undrawn.

Portfolio occupancy stood at 97.9 per cent at the end of November 2020, while weighted average lease expiry by net lettable area was 5.5 years.

The DPU, which includes 0.13 cent deferred from earlier income under Covid-19 relief measures, will be paid on Feb 26; the books close on Jan 21.

Units closed at 83.5 cents, lower by one cent or 1.18 per cent, before the results.