Ascott Residence Trust sees 6% rise in DPS on stronger demand

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Ascott Residence Trust (ART) has reported a distribution per stapled security (DPS) of 2.27 Singapore cents for its 4Q 2019, an increase of 6% year-on-year.

Similarly, unitholders’ distribution for 4Q 2019 increased 6% year-on-year to SGD49.3 million.

The trust’s gross profit increased by 3% to SGD65.3 million due to the adoption of accounting standard FRS 116 with effect from 1 January 2019.

In 4Q 2019, gross profit for the Philippines, Belgium and Singapore increased by 42%, 38% and 20% respectively due to stronger demand.

Gross profit for Vietnam also grew 7% because of higher corporate demand.

ART’s revenue for 4Q 2019 decreased following the divestment of Ascott Raffles Place Singapore and Somerset West Lake Hanoi.

But its revenue for the year ended 31 December 2019 increased year-on-year.

The increase was largely due to higher revenue from the existing properties and additional contribution from the acquisition of Citadines Connect Sydney Airport in May 2019.

About 38% of the gross profit for 4Q 2019 was contributed by income from properties on master leases, and properties on management contracts with minimum guaranteed income.

The remaining 62% was from properties on management contracts.

The trust’s divestment of Citadines Xinghai Suzhou, and Citadines Zhuankou Wuhan is expected to complete in 1H 2020.

As such, ART’s exposure to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak is expected to be minimal.

Its gearing as at 31 December 2019 is 33.6%

ART was last done on the Singapore Exchange at SGD1.27.

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