Singapore-listed hospitality REIT Ascott (SGX:A68U) posted a first quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.75 Singapore cents for its 2014 financial year.

The figure represents a 5% increase from the previous year's 1.67 Singapore cents after adjustments for a rights issue and foreign exchange gain of SGD8.1 million.

The distribution figure came on the back of a 16% increase in gross revenue which reported in at SGD80.4 million.

The hotel and serviced residences landlord has attributed the increase to stronger contribution from existing properties mainly from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Vietnam. Revenue per available unit (RevPAU) for Japan, United Kingdom and Belgium grew 18%, 13%and 11%respectively due to strong demand from corporate and leisure travellers.

The REIT’s properties in Singapore and Vietnam is also said to be seeing signs of improvement due to higher demand from executives on project assignments.

Ascott REIT hinted that it may be looking for acquisition properties to capitalise on projected global economic growth in 2014 and 2015.

“With a stronger balance sheet, we are able to pursue acquisitions efficiently to maximise returns for unitholders. We will continue to look for acquisitions in key gateway cities in China, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and Europe”, said Lim Jit Poh, Chairman of Ascott REIT’s manager Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited.

Units of Ascott REIT closed the trading day flat at SGD1.23 on the Singapore Exchange.

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.