SINGAPORE (Jan 29): The trustee-manager of Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) has reported a 15% increase in distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.64 cents for the 3Q ended December, from DPU of 1.42 cents a year ago.

Total property income rose 18% to $46.5 million in 3Q17/18, from $39.3 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to income from Victor, which was leased out in phases after development was completed in June 2016; the acquisition of BlueRidge 2 and aVance 4; the completion of Atria at The V; and positive rental reversions.

Total property expenses increased by 8% to $13.9 million in 3Q17/18, from $12.9 million a year ago, mainly due to property expenses from new properties.

Consequently, net property income (NPI) grew 23% to $32.6 million in 3Q17/18, from $26.4 million a year ago.

As at end December, a-iTrust’s committed portfolio occupancy stood at 94%.

“We also made progress in leasing out BlueRidge 2, which has attained leasing commitment of 72% to date. In Hyderabad, the buoyant commercial office market has provided a boost to our leasing activities as the newly completed Atria building has been fully leased to new and existing tenants,” says Sanjeev Dasgupta, CEO of the trustee-manager.

a-iTrust has a gearing ratio of 31%, representing an additional debt headroom of $415 million based on the current gearing limit of 45%.

As at end December, cash and cash equivalents stood at $88.5 million.

“We are pleased to have received in-principle approval to redevelop The V in Hyderabad. The redevelopment of The V would unlock significant value for our unitholders as it doubles the Trust’s development land bank without incurring incremental land cost,” Dasgupta says.

“We plan to redevelop The V in phases over the next seven to 10 years to increase the leasable area from 1.7 million square feet to 4.5 million square feet,” he adds.

Looking ahead, the trustee-manager if a-iTrust says it will continue to focus on enhancing the competitiveness of its properties to distinguish itself from competitors, while maintaining financial discipline, and seeking growth opportunities.

Units of a-iTrust closed flat at $1.13 on Monday.