ASCENDAS India Trust (a-iTrust) yesterday reported distributable income of $14.1 million for the second quarter ended Sept 30, up 3 per cent from $13.8 million a year ago.
Distribution per unit (DPU) for the three months rose to 1.85 cents, from the previous corresponding quarter’s 1.82 cents.
The trust, which owns business space in India, said that total property income for the quarter rose 2 per cent to $30.4 million, ‘despite the difficult business environment globally’.
Income held up as the trust was able to sustained an average occupancy of 97 per cent, or 98 per cent including committed leases.
Total property expenses, on the other hand, fell 20 per cent to $11.2 million on the back of lower operating, maintenance and security charges as a result of cost management (such as repackaging and retendering of contracts); and lower utilities expenses as the price of oil remained lower than a year ago. As a result, second-quarter net property income rose 22 per cent year-on-year to $19.2 million.
Gearing was 13 per cent as at Sept 30, 2009, compared with 9 per cent as at March 31, 2009. The increase was due to the additional borrowings taken to fund development projects.
Looking ahead, a-iTrust said that its performance will continue to be influenced by the performance of its tenants as well as conditions in the local property market.
‘a-iTrust’s net property income continued to grow despite the global downturn, because of the resilient demand for its properties and cost management,’ it said in a filing.
‘While the economic recovery remains fragile and uncertain, we will focus on what we can control – enhancing the competitive edge of our properties, strengthening relationships with our tenants, maintaining cost discipline, and seeking opportunities to invest in future growth.’
Source: Business Times, 23 Oct 2009