SINGAPORE (Jan 24): The manager of CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) has posted a 4Q17 distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.90 cents, 0.7% higher than a year ago.

The latest set of results brings CMT’s DPU for FY17 to 11.16 cents, 0.3% higher than the FY16 DPU of 11.13 cents.

Gross revenue for the latest 4Q17 grew 1.8% to $172.3 million compared to $168.3 million in 4Q16, while net property income (NPI) rose 2.6% to $119.3 million from $116.2 million a year ago.

Growth in both revenue and NPI were mainly attributable to higher occupancy for Bugis Junction and The [email protected], partially offset by lower gross revenue from Bedok Mall due to lower rental rates achieved for new and renewed leases as well as lower occupancy.

As at end Dec, 2017, the trust’s average cost of debt and aggregate leverage were 3.2% and 34.2% respectively.

Tony Tan, CEO of CapitaLand Trust Management, says CMT’s portfolio of malls continue to be popular among retailers given the high occupancy of 99.2% as at end Dec.

According to Tan, construction for Funan is progressing well with strong leasing interest for its retail and office components.

“Global coworking space operator WeWork has signed on as Funan’s first office tenant, taking up 40,000 square feet of space located across two floors of the North Office Block – namely Level 4, which is the prime connector space linking Funan’s two office blocks with its retail and serviced residence components, and Level 5,” says the CEO.

Richard R. Magnus, chairman of the manager, attributes CMT’s stable results for 2017 to the underlying strength of CMT’s well-located malls, along with the management’s continuous focus on enhancing mall offerings while improving on operational efficiency.

Looking ahead, Magnus expects competition in Singapore's retail sector to remain intense in spite of stable GDP growth forecasted for 2018, with new retail space coming onstream. 

“To stay at the forefront of a dynamic retail landscape, CMT will continue to push the boundaries and explore new ways to future-enable our malls,” he adds.

Unitholders can expect to receive their DPU for 4Q17 on 28 Feb 2018.

Based on CMT’s last closing price of $2.05 per unit on Tuesday, the annualised distribution yield for 4Q17 was 5.61%.