First REIT posts distributable income of $5.2m for 3Q

First Real Estate Investment Trust (First REIT), Singapore’s first healthcare real estate investment trust, today reported that its distributable income for the third quarter ended 30 September 2009 amounted to $5.22 million, or 0.8% lower than the $5.26 million in the corresponding period last year.

Correspondingly, 3Q 2009 distribution per unit (DPU) remained steady at 1.90 cents. Based on its closing price of 71.5 cents on 20 October 2009 and the annualised DPU of 7.62 cents, First REIT registered a healthy distribution yield of 10.7% for the period.

Gross revenue and net property income also remained stable at $7.6 million and $7.5 million respectively as compared to the previous corresponding period.

First REIT says the group’s interest income for 3Q 2009 decreased 85.4% to $7,000 reflecting substantially lower market interest rates for fixed deposits, whilst trustee fees and finance costs grew by 11.1% and 28.5% respectively. Increase in finance costs was due to higher interest cost for the loan facility which was refinanced in June 2009.

Looking ahead, First REIT says improving stock markets and consumer demand are encouraging signs which point to a global economic recovery. With the general credit environment easing, a large part of the REIT sector in Singapore has been successful in their debt refinancing.

The Government’s recent push to raise awareness and boost palliative care services should help to boost the demand for private nursing care.

Source : The Edge – 22 Oct 2009

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