First REIT reports 2.5% gain in distributable income for Q1

First REIT has recorded a 2.5 per cent on-year jump in distributable income to S$5.2 million for the first quarter of 2009.

The healthcare real estate investment trust attributed the increase to its resilient trust structure. It added that the distribution per unit (DPU) also rose 1.6 per cent to 1.88 Singapore cents for the three months ended March 31.

First REIT said it achieved a distribution yield of 13.6 per cent based on its annualised DPU of 7.62 cents and the closing price of 56 cents on April 21, 2009.

Net property income for the quarter dipped by 0.1 per cent to S$7.3 million due to the commencement of capital expenditure provision of about S$31,000 for repair works in four Indonesian properties. This came on the back of a 0.4 per cent rise in gross revenue to S$7.4 million.

Going forward, First REIT does not expect its performance to be significantly affected by the economic downturn.

This is because of its resilient trust structure which is firmly grounded by long-term leases with stable rentals in Singapore dollars, with no currency risks or downward revisions.

First REIT will also use a recently secured S$70 million term loan facility from OCBC to refinance outstanding bank loans of S$50.8 million.

The remaining funds will go towards redeveloping the Adam Road Hospital and possible future asset acquisitions.

First REIT added that it has also been granted a 60-day extension for its S$90 million facility with OCBC which matured on April 9.

This is to allow the trust to prepare and finalise documentation for the new loan facility.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 23 Apr 2009

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