Friday, October 23, 2009

First Reit Q3 DPU falls to 1.90 cents

FIRST Real Estate Investment Trust (First Reit) reported third-quarter distributable income of $5.22 million, versus $5.26 million a year earlier, its manager Bowsprit Capital Corporation said yesterday.

Distribution per unit (DPU) for Q3 to Sept 30 was 1.90 cents, compared with 1.92 cents in the previous corresponding period.

Based on First Reit’s closing price of $0.715 on Oct 20, and annualised DPU of 7.62 cents, yield was healthy at 10.7 per cent for Q3, Bowsprit said.

The healthcare Reit’s gross revenue and net property income remained stable at $7.6 million and $7.5 million respectively.

Bowsprit chief executive Ronnie Tan said: ‘We have seen stronger occupancy at our three Indonesians hospitals, as more patients stayed back to seek medical care instead of travelling abroad.

‘Continuing growth in this sector will provide an upside potential for First Reit as our Indonesian assets enjoy a variable rental growth component in addition to annual escalation.’

In Singapore, demand for private nursing care continues to grow steadily as the population ages, Mr Tan said.

First Reit said that its balance sheet remains strong and its gearing of 15.6 per cent is significantly lower than the regulatory limit of 35 per cent.

The Reit has received approval from the authorities for asset enhancement works at its Adam Road Hospital, expected to start soon. Extension works are also proposed at Lentor Residence.

‘First Reit will continue its ongoing review of the financial attractiveness of various projects in the pipeline, such as the Tech-Link healthcare logistics and distribution centre in Singapore that received temporary occupation permit on Sept 2, 2009,’ Bowsprit said.

Source: Business Times, 23 Oct 2009

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