Sunday, April 25, 2010

Real estate trusts post higher incomes

LOWER property expenses and a fall in borrowing costs have propelled Mapletree Logistics Trust's first-quarter distributable income to $30.8 million, 7.8 per cent higher than that for the same period last year.

Mr Chua Tiow Chye, chief executive of Mapletree Logistics Trust Management, said the drop in borrowing costs for the quarter ended March 31 was due mainly to capital management to reduce interest cost and lower leverage as well as reductions in property expenses.

Distribution per unit for the first quarter rose 2 per cent from 1.47 cents to 1.5 cents year-on-year.

Revenue, however, was 3.5 per cent lower at $51.4 million. Mapletree said this was mainly due to a depreciation in the Hong Kong dollar and the Japanese yen.

It will pay a distribution per unit of 1.5 cents on May 27 for the first-quarter period.

The trust's portfolio as of March 31 comprised 84 properties with a book value of about $3 billion in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and China.

Mapletree's earnings per unit rose to 2.26 cents from 1.32 cents the previous year, while net asset value per unit was 87 cents as of March 31, up from 85 cents as of Dec 31 last year.

Mapletree's units rose 1.5 cents yesterday to close at 87.5 cents.

Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT) also saw second-quarter distributable income soar 82 per cent to $9.84 million due to a decrease in finance costs, because of smaller loans, lower interest rates and a better performance of its Australian properties.

Distribution per unit for the quarter ended March 31 surged 78 per cent from 0.18 cent to 0.32 cent year-on-year.

Revenue jumped 24 per cent to $29.8 million from $24 million in the same period last year.

This was mainly due to a full quarter contribution of $5.5 million from Alexandra Technopark, which was acquired last August, Frasers said.

A total distribution of 0.56 cent per unit for the first half of its financial year will be paid on May 27.

Mr Low Chee Wah, chief executive of the trust's manager, Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management (Commercial), said: 'The positive outlook, particularly in Singapore and Australia, will augur well for FCOT's properties.'

Frasers earnings per unit were 0.09 cent, reversing from a loss of 15.47 cents previously, while unitholders' funds per unit was 28 cents as of March 31, up from 27 cents as of Sept 30 last year.

Frasers' units yesterday ended down 0.5 cent to 14 cents.

Source: Straits Times, 23 Apr 2010

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