Manulife US REIT announced a 5.4% decline in distributions per unit to 5.64 US cents in FY2020. During a results briefing, Jill Smith, CEO of MUST’s manager attributed this to provisions for expected credit loss, and a sharp reduction in car parking income. While gross revenue rose 9.3% to US$194 million in FY2020, property expenses rose 17% to US$78.5 million. Net property income (NPI) in FY2020 rose 5.6% to US$115.8 million. MUST’s 2H2020 was weaker than the first where gross revenue rose just 1.2% while property expenses rose 16.5% resulting in an 8.3% y-o-y decline in NPI to US$53.6 million.

In FY2019, car parking income contributed around 7% to gross revenue and last year, MUST collected just 25% of car park income compared to a normal year.

Smith believes that the vaccine rollout in the US coupled with cabin fever is likely to support demand this year. “The vaccine rollout and bosses wanting workers to report to the workplace will lead to a gradual reopening of the US economy,” she says.

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