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Singapore-listed Cambridge Industrial Trust has reported a DPU of 0.996 Singapore cents for its 4Q 2016, a fall of 12.6% year-on-year compared to the 1.139 cents achieved in the corresponding period of 2015.

Gross revenue for the period fell by 2.5% to SGD27.8 million (USD19.5 million), while net property income fell by 8.8% to SGD19.7 million.

Subsequently the industrial REIT’s DPU of 4.173 cents for FY2016 represents a 12.9% decrease year-on-year from what was paid for FY2015.

“However, after adjusting FY2015 DPU to exclude one-off capital distribution and management fees paid in units, FY2016 DPU would have been 5.7% lower than the previous year”, said the REIT in its statement on the results, noting that 2016 was a tough year for the industry as a whole.

“The strategy of capital recycling and divestment of non-core properties in FY2016 enabled the [REIT] to remain nimble in a challenging environment”, said Shane Hagan, acting CEO of the Cambridge Industrial Trust’s manager.

“Despite keen market competition, [Cambridge Industrial Trust] has successfully leased 1.67 million square feet of space during the year with proactive occupancy management, a jump from 1.02 million square feet in FY2015”, he added.

The REIT’s portfolio occupancy for the period was 94.7% with a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of 3.7 years.

As at 31 December 2016, Cambridge Industrial Trust’s gearing ratio was at 37.5% with an all-in cost of debt of 3.71% per annum.

“Looking ahead into FY2017, we expect the industrial leasing market to remain challenging”, said Hagan.

“At the same time, at [Cambridge Industrial Trust] we are at the tail end of an extended cycle of conversions from single-tenanted properties to multi-tenanted properties which has been the key reason for the weakening DPU in the last few quarters”, he noted.

“I am confident that [the REIT]is well positioned in the longer term to capture opportunities as they arise”.

Units of Cambridge Industrial Trust last changed hands on the Singapore Exchange at SGD0.56.

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.