Business Times – 19 Apr 2008
By ARTHUR SIM
ASCENDAS Real Estate Investment Trust (A-Reit) has reported gross revenue of $322 million for the full year ended March 31, 2008 – an increase of 13.9 per cent over the previous year.
Net property income for the year came to $243 million, up 15.8 per cent year on year.
Distributable income for the FY2007-08 totalled $187.3 million, up 14.3 per cent year on year, while distributable income per unit (DPU) was 14.13 cents, a 10.8 per cent rise. This also represents an annualised yield of 5.94 per cent based on the closing price of $2.38 per unit on March 31, 2008.
For the quarter, DPU was 3.69 cents, an increase of 11.8 per cent compared with the same period a year ago. This will be paid out on May 30, 2008.
A-Reit manager Ascendas Funds Management Ltd’s CEO Tan Ser Ping attributed growth in net property income to ‘positive rental reversion, active leasing and full-year contribution from prior year acquisitions’.
A-Reit now has 84 properties worth $4.2 billion, up from 77 properties worth $3.3 billion a year ago.
In the mandatory annual revaluation exercise conducted in March 2008, A-Reit also recorded a net appreciation of $494.1 million or 14.2 per cent over the book value of the properties (before revaluation) as at March 31, 2008.
In the year, A-Reit acquired seven properties and completed its third development project, HansaPoint@CBP, as well as two asset enhancement initiatives for a total of about $310 million.
The overall occupancy for A-Reit’s portfolio of 84 properties stands at 98.4 per cent compared with 96.6 per cent a year ago. Occupancy rate for multi-tenanted buildings increased by 2.7 per cent to 96.4 per cent compared with a year ago. It said the increase in occupancy is partly due to the spillover demand from the tight office supply situation in the CBD and the continued inflow of multinational companies setting up or expanding operations in Singapore.
For the year, A-Reit renewed or leased a total of 274,061 sq m of space. On a year-on-year basis, it registered 46 per cent and 40.3 per cent for its renewal rental rates for the Business and Science Parks, and high-tech industrial sub-sectors.
For the year ahead, A-Reit manager Ascendas Funds Management said it ‘expects to be able to deliver a DPU for the coming year that is in line with its recent performance’.
However, it did highlight a CB Richard Ellis report which expects the increase in rents and occupancy rates for high-tech and business parks space to continue at a ‘less brisk pace due to limited upcoming supply’.
Yesterday, A-Reit’s unit price fell two cents to close at $2.35 per unit.