SINGAPORE (July 23): The manager of CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) has announced distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.92 cents for the 2Q19 ended June, some 3.9% higher than DPU of 2.81 cents a year ago.

Distributable income to unitholders rose 7.7% to $107.7 million, from $100.0 million a year ago.

2Q19 gross revenue grew 10.6% to $189.5 million, from $171.4 million a year ago, mainly due to the completion of the acquisition of the remaining 70% interest in Westgate in November last year.

Property operating expenses rose 11.5% to $56.4 million, from $50.6 million a year ago.

The increase was mainly due to the Westgate acquisition and the reopening of Funan’s retail and office components, partially offset by the divestment of Sembawang Shopping Centre.

Consequently, net property income (NPI) was $133.2 million for 2Q19, 10.2% higher than NPI of $120.8 million in 2Q18.

As at end June, cash and cash equivalents stood at $396.6 million, with average cost of debt at 3.2% and aggregate leverage at 34.2%.

“The contributions from Westgate and Funan are expected to anchor CMT’s steady financial performance while we embark on the rejuvenation of Lot One Shoppers’ Mall starting from 3Q19,” says Tony Tan, CEO of the manager.

Westgate contributed $18.4 million to gross revenue during the latest quarter, while Funan, which reopen in late June after a three-year redevelopment, contributed $0.9 million.

According to Tan, proposed works at Lot One will include expanding the footprint of the public library and reformatting the cinema.

“Against the backdrop of Singapore’s slowing economy, we remain cautious in our outlook. Competition for the consumer wallet is expected to stay keen with the progressive opening of new malls, although the supply of new retail space is projected to taper off from 2020,” Tan says.

The manager adds that it will continue to review its portfolio for possibilities to create value through acquisition and development opportunities.

Units in CMT closed 4 cent lower, or down 1.5%, at $2.60 on Monday.