Ascendas Reit raises Q2 DPU by 2.3% after UK acquisitions; calls for trading halt

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Reit) distribution per unit (DPU) rose by 2.3 per cent to 3.978 Singapore cents for its second quarter to Sept 30 from 3.887 cents a year ago, boosted by overseas acquisitions while taking into account an enlarged number of units in issue.

The Reit also called for a trading halt on Friday morning, after it had released its financial results.

Gross revenue was up 5.3 per cent to S$229.6 million for the quarter, from S$218.1 million a year ago.

This was thanks to the full-quarter contribution from 38 logistics properties in the UK that were acquired between August and October 2018, the business space and industrial Reit said in a regulatory filing early on Friday morning.

Net property income (NPI) climbed 12 per cent on the year to S$177.9 million for Q2, from S$158.9 million, in tandem with the higher gross revenue and the effects from the adoption of the new Singapore Financial Reporting Standard 116 (FRS 116) since April 1, 2019.

Total income available for distribution grew 7.6 per cent year on year to S$123.8 million, from S$115 million.

The distribution will be paid out on Dec 3, after books closure on Nov 11.

Meanwhile, for the half year ended Sept 30, DPU was 1.2 per cent higher at 7.983 Singapore cents, versus 7.889 cents a year ago, and total income available for distribution grew 7 per cent to S$248.5 million. Gross revenue was 5.7 per cent higher at S$459.3 million, while NPI rose 11.7 per cent to S$355.4 million for the half year.

The Reit manager on Oct 3 announced the acquisition of Ascendas Reit’s fourth suburban office in Australia for A$110.9 million (S$104.4 million). The freehold property is being developed at 254 Wellington Road in Melbourne, and is expected to complete in Q2 2020.

William Tay, chief executive officer and executive director of the Reit manager, said on Friday: “We will continue to diversify our portfolio geographically to ensure resilience and future growth.”

Units of Ascendas Reit closed up two Singapore cents or 0.6 per cent higher at S$3.17 on Thursday before the results were released.

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