GOVERNMENT policies aimed at cushioning the financial crisis and cheaper utility bills have helped bolster Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust’s (A-Reit’s) full- year distributable income by 11.4 per cent to $234.9 million.
Distribution per unit for the year ended March 31 fell by 13.7 per cent, from 15.18 cents to 13.10 cents, and for the fourth quarter by 15.5 per cent, from 3.23 cents to 2.73 cents, year-on-year.
Revenue rose 4.3 per cent to $413.7 million for the financial year ended March 31. Revenue was flat at $104 million during the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year, while profit fell by 1 per cent to $51.1 million.
Net property income increased to $320 million from $296.6 million the previous year, partly due to cost savings in land rent and property tax due to government rebates amounting to $4 million, which reduced operating expenses.
A reduction of about $7.1 million in utilities expenses due to lower energy prices last year also benefited the firm, Ascendas Funds Management – the manager of A-Reit – said in a statement.
Gross rental income rose 6.2 per cent to $385.7 million from $363 million.
For the year, the trust also completed three development projects and two acquisitions, though the latter will be fully reflected in the next financial year.
Its outlook for the near term remains positive. However, the firm remains cautious about ‘considerable uncertainties’, such as the unusually high employment, persistently large deficits and regulatory uncertainty in the developed world.
Barring unforeseen events, A-Reit expects to at least sustain its current level of net income in the new financial year.
As of March 31, A-Reit has a portfolio of 93 properties with a total asset value of about $4.8 billion, housing about 930 international and local companies.
A-Reit earnings per unit rose to 8.23 cents from 6.11 cents the previous year, while net asset value per unit was $1.58 as of March 31, down from $1.61 a year earlier. A-Reit’s units fell by one cent yesterday to $1.98.
Source: Straits Times, 20 Apr 2010