SINGAPORE (Oct 29): The managers of Ascendas Hospitality Trust has announced distribution per stapled security (DPS) of 1.38 cents for the 2Q19 ended September, some 5.5% lower than DPS of 1.46 cents a year ago.

The decline was mainly due to the absence of partial distribution of the partial proceeds from divestment of $1.7 million made in the corresponding quarter last year.

With the retention of $1.2 million for working capital in the quarter, income to be distributed for the quarter would be $15.7 million, some 5.1% lower than distributable income of $16.6 million a year ago.

The decrease was mainly due to absence of China sale proceeds distribution of $1.8 million, higher net finance cost of $1.2 million from the refinancing of the Australian dollar loan and new loans taken up for acquisition of Japan and Korea hotels, and higher tax expense of $0.9 million.

2Q19 gross revenue rose 2.4% to $47.5 million, on the back of full quarter contributions from the new Japan and Korea hotels.

Consequently, net property income (NPI) for 2Q19 was 3.5% higher at $21.2 million.

As at end-September, cash and cash equivalents stood at $69.0 million.

Overall gearing ratio remained prudent at 33.8% as at Sept 30, 2019.

“We are pleased that the five hotels that were acquired last year continued to have a positive impact on the portfolio. The contribution from these hotels have made up for the weaker performance of the Australia portfolio, resulting in net property income growth of 3.5% y-o-y for 2Q FY2019,” says Tan Juay Hiang, chief executive officer of the managers.

“The addition of the five hotels have improved income stability and further diversified the portfolio, strengthening its resilience. Amidst the slowing global economy, we are positive that the portfolio can remain resilient to mitigate adverse impact,” he adds.

The proposed combination between Ascendas Hospitality Trust and Ascott Residence Trust was approved by stapled securityholders at the extraordinary general meeting and scheme meeting held on Oct 21.

See: Ascott Residence Trust, Ascendas Hospitality Trust get over 99% approval from unitholders for proposed combination

Subject to the combination being sanctioned by the Court, the last day of trading of the stapled securities of Ascendas Hospitality Trust is expected to be Dec 16, with the expected delisting of Ascendas Hospitality Trust on Jan 3, 2020.