SPH REIT's The Clementi Mall (Photo: REITsWeek)SPH REIT's The Clementi Mall (Photo: REITsWeek)

SPH REIT announced on 6 October that it has achieved a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.41 Singapore cents for its 4Q 2016, an increase of 1.4% from the 1.39 cents paid in the corresponding period of 2015.

The Singapore-listed REIT’s gross revenue and net property income (NPI) for the period grew by 2.7% and 5.3%, to SGD52.2 million and SGD40.2 million respectively, on the back of higher rental income.

Subsequently, the REIT’s gross revenue for the financial year ended 31 August 2016 grew by SGD4.5 million, or 2.2%, to SGD209.6 million, while full year NPI increased by SGD5.3 million, or 3.4%, to SGD160.9 million.

DPU for the full financial year was recorded at 5.50 cents, 0.5% higher from the 5.47 cents achieved for 2015.

However the retail REIT recorded declining footfalls at its two properties for the financial year amid softer economic conditions in Singapore, despite recording full occupancies for the quarter.

Visitor traffic at Paragon declined by 2.5% year-on-year to 18.3 million, although tenant sales increased marginally by 0.3% to SGD661 million with an occupancy cost of 19.6%.

Similarly The Clementi Mall saw a 2.4% decline in visitor traffic to 30.0 million, with tenant sales down by 1.4% to SGD239 million with an occupancy cost of 14.8%.

“We will continue to work closely with our tenants to ride through the challenges as well as seek opportunities to create long-term value for unitholders”, said Susan Leong, CEO of the REIT’s manager, in her statement on the results.

SPH REIT has total borrowing of SGD850 million as at 31 August 2016, with gearing level of 25.7%.

The REIT expects near-term economic growth for Singapore to remain modest amid geopolitical uncertainties, but remains hopeful that the locations of its two properties will see it through the current slowdown.

Units of SPH REIT finished the trading day flat from its previous close on the Singapore Exchange to end at SGD1.00.

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.