SINGAPORE (Aug 3): The manager of Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTRUST) has announced a 1.6% increase in its distribution per stapled security (DPS) to 1.31 cents in 1QFY17/18 from 1.29 cents in 1QFY16/17.

Gross revenue saw a 2.2% y-o-y increase to $53.5 million from $52.4 million which came on the back of the appreciated AUD against SGD as the overall gross revenue of the portfolio was relatively stable y-o-y, in local currency terms.

However, net property income for 1QFY17/18 was lower by 1.5% y-o-y to $22.3 million from $22.6 million, mainly due to lower contribution from the Australia and Singapore portfolios.

Still, income available for distribution rose 4.2% to $15.8 million in 1QFY17/18 from $15.2 million in 1QFY16/17, partly due to financing costs.

In 1QFY17/18, gross revenue from Australia hotels came in at $36.5 million, an increase of 3.2% over 1QFY16/17 primarily due to the stronger AUD against SGD. Overall, Australia portfolio performance was flat compared to last year.

Gross revenue from China hotels was flat at $5.4 million. In local currency terms, the underlying performance of the hotels increased by $0.2 million but this was offset by weaker RMB against SGD.

Gross revenue for the Japan hotels was 1.6% higher at $8.4 million from $8.3 million last year, while net property income increased 4.3% from $5.9 million to $6.1 million.

Park Hotel Singapore saw a 4.3% decline in both gross revenue and net property income y-o-y to $3.1 million compared to $3.3 million a year ago, as the hotel continued to face soft corporate segment demand amid a competitive landscape due to additional room supply in the market.

Looking ahead, the Melbourne hotel market is expected to remain positive in the near term, but upcoming supply may pose challenges. In Beijing, robust domestic travelling is expected to continue driving the performance of the hotel sector amidst the declining trend of international arrivals into the city.

Meanwhile, the hotel markets in Tokyo and Osaka is expected to remain healthy in general, further improvement in performance may be moderated by increasing competition.

In Singapore, the hotel market is expected to remain subdued in the near term due to the large inventory of hotel rooms and further upcoming supply.

Units in A-HTRUST closed 1 cent lower at 84 cents on Thursday.