SINGAPORE (July 24): The manager of Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott REIT) reported a distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.84 cents in 2Q18 ended June, the same as that of 2Q17.

2Q18 revenue grew 6% year-on-year to $130.5 million, lifted by its acquisitions in 2017. Gross profit increased 7% to $63.1 million due to higher revenue. Revenue per available unit (RevPAU) rose 6% to $155 on the back of stronger demand and operating performance for Ascott Reit’s properties in markets such as Belgium, China and the United Kingdom.

Unitholders’ distribution for the quarter was $39.8 million.

Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited (ARTML) says DPU for 2Q18 would have increased 13% after restating for rights issue and excluding the one-off item in 2Q17. The one-off was a realised exchange gain of $11.9 million arising from the repayment of foreign currency bank loans with the proceeds from Ascott REIT’s rights issue and completion of divestments of 18 rental housing properties in Tokyo.

Ascott REIT’s higher revenue and gross profit in 2Q18 resulted from its 2017 acquisitions of quality assets – Ascott Orchard Singapore, Citadines City Centre Frankfurt and Citadines Michel Hamburg with master leases that provide income stability, and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New York – Times Square South which continues to see strong demand.

Beh Siew Kim, ARTML’s CEO, says: “In 2Q18, higher demand boosted our revenue and gross profit in the US and the United Kingdom, particularly for our newly renovated Citadines Barbican London. Revenue and gross profit of our Singapore properties also improved with the added contribution from Ascott Orchard Singapore acquired last year. The performance of our Japan properties remained stable amidst new supply in the market. In China, while total revenue and gross profit decreased because we divested two lower yielding properties in Shanghai and Xi’an, our other China properties continued to perform well. We will leverage our sponsor Ascott’s global scale and marketing network, as well as their strong brand reputation to drive the performance of our properties.”

Units in Ascott REIT closed 1 cent higher at $1.14 on Monday. Year to date, the REIT is down  9.5%.