SINGAPORE (Nov 8): The manager of EC World REIT, has announced a distribution per unit of 1.44 cents for the third quarter ended Sept – 3.7% lower than the forecast 3Q DPU of 1.496 cents.
This was due to the impact of withholding tax (WHT) incurred during the cash repatriation process as part of the REIT’s liquidity enhancement initiative, says the manager, as a RMB 68.2 million (SGD 13.9 million) cash distribution was repatriated from its PRC subsidiaries during the quarter.
Gross revenue for the quarter was $23.9 million, 5.5% higher compared to the pro-rated forecast of $22.7 million.
Net property income (NPI) came in at $22.1 million, exceeding forecasts by 7.7% mainly due to additional rental income from the completed asset enhancement initiative (AEI) at Chongxian Port Investment, lower property expenses, and a favourable SGD/RMB exchange rate.
Committed occupancy as at end-Sept continues to stand at 100%, while the weighted average underlying end-tenant occupancy of the REIT’s portfolio was at 97.8%.
EC World Asset Management highlights that the REIT’s aggregate leverage remains conservative at 29.2%, thus providing it with available debt headroom for growth and future acquisitions.
For the nine months of 2017, EC World REIT delivered a DPU of 4.521 cents to its unitholders, which is 1.8% higher than the forecast, which the manager attributes to strong operating performance of the underlying asset portfolio, lower finance costs and effective expenses and cash management.
“Given the prevailing sound economic conditions, our portfolio is expected to continue to deliver stable returns for our unitholders. The weighted average lease expiry of our portfolio stands at 3.2 years with no significant leases expiring in the next 2 years. Furthermore, most of our leases (including all 3 master leases) have built-in annual rental escalations,” says EC World Asset Management.
“EC World REIT is also actively pursuing and evaluating certain high quality and accretive acquisition opportunities in China and in the Southeast Asia region,” adds the manager.
Units in EC World REIT closed 0.63% lower at 78 cents on Wednesday.