ARA Asset Management’s 1Q net rises 22% to $22.1m

ARA Asset Management has announced a net profit of $22.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009 (1H2009), a 22% increase from the $18.1 million achieved in 1H2008.

The increase in net profit was achieved on the back of a 13% rise in total revenue to $38.5 million in 1H2009 from $34.1 million in 1H2008.

ARA says management fees from REIT and private fund management rose 4% to $32.4 million in 1H2009 from $31.1 million in 1H2008 while higher distribution income from REIT securities held by the group and a gain of $2.2 million on disposal of REIT units received as part payment for REIT management fees resulted in a 225% jump in other income to $6 million in 1H2009 from $1.9 million in 1H2008.

As at June 30, 2009, the group says assets under management stood at $12.4 billion.

On Aug 1, the group successfully closed the ARA Harmony Fund to acquire the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre for $235 million. Harmony Fund’s investors comprise Suntec REIT and certain private financial investors.

Following Suntec REIT’s refinancing of its loan facilities due in 2009, all the REITs under the group’s management have no external borrowings coming due in the year, says ARA.

The group adds that it will continue to pursue a proactive and prudent capital management strategy for the REITs under management while being on the lookout for acquisition opportunities.

ARA has declared a tax-exempt (one-tier) interim dividend of 2.3 cents per ordinary share.

Source : The Edge – 5 Aug 2009

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