CapitaLand Mall Trust's Funan Digital Mall, which is currently undergoing redevelopment till 4Q 2019. (Photo: REITsWeek)

Singapore-listed retail REIT, CapitaLand Mall Trust, announced on 15 April that it has achieved a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.73 Singapore cents for its 1Q 2016, 1.9% higher than the 2.68 cents delivered in 1Q 2015.

Distributable income for the period which spanned 1 January 2016 to 31 March 2016 was SGD96.7 million, a 4.2% increase over the SGD92.9 million achieved in the corresponding period of 2015.

The improvements came on the back of a 7.4% and 8.6% increase in gross revenue and net property income (NPI) that came in at SGD179.8 million and SGD127.8 million respectively.

CapitaLand Mall Trust has attributed these improvements mainly due to a contribution of SGD14.6 million from the acquisition of Bedok Mall in October 2015, higher rentals from IMM Building upon completion of asset enhancement works and renewed leases from other malls.

“Despite the challenging macro environment, CapitaLand Mall Trust registered year-on-year growth of 4.9% in shopper traffic and 4.6% in tenants’ sales in the first quarter of the year”, said Wilson Tan, CEO of the REIT’s manager, who added that the REIT’s portfolio occupancy as at 31 March 2016 was at 97.7%.

Tan also gave an update of asset enhancement initiatives that will be undertaken by the REIT in the coming quarters.

“In the second half of this year, we will start the redevelopment of Funan DigitaLife Mall into a new-generation integrated development and leading lifestyle destination that befits its central location in the revitalised civic and cultural district”, said Tan.

“In addition, we will continue to make progress with the asset enhancement initiatives for Plaza Singapura, Bukit Panjang Plaza and Tampines Mall, aimed at staying ahead of the evolving aspirations and needs of both our shoppers and tenants”, he added.

As at 31 March 2016, the REIT’s average cost of debt and aggregate leverage were 3.2% and 35.5% respectively. Portfolio weighted average lease expiry (WALE) by rental income was 2.0 years.

Units of CapitaLand Mall Trust finished the trading day about 1.4% higher from its previous close on the Singapore Exchange to end at SGD2.17.

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.