The manager of First REIT today announced a distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.44 cent for 2Q20 ended June, a 79.5% plunge from the 2.15 cents reported last year.

This brings DPU for 1H20 to 2.3 cents, which represents a 46.5% decline from the 4.3 cents in 1H19.

Distributable income for 2Q20 was $3.5 million, which brings the distributable income for 1H20 to $18.4 million, representing a 46% decline y-o-y. 

Rental and other income for 1H20 fell 33% y-o-y to $38.6 million, mainly due to rental relief extended to all tenants arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The relief, which amounts to some $19.6 million, was extended in the month of May and June 2020 to all of First REIT’s tenants in Singapore, Indonesia, and South Korea.

Additionally, First REIT said it will also pass on all property tax rebates announced by the Singapore government, through rental relief or capital expenditure works, where applicable, to all its Singapore properties.

These include Pacific Healthcare Nursing Home @ Bukit Merah, Pacific Healthcare Nursing Home II @ Bukit Panjang and The Lentor Residence.

Property operating expenses for the first half slipped 15.7% y-o-y to $1.1 million, due to property tax rebates received for its Singapore property. Net property and other income slid 33.5% to $37.5 million in 1H20 from $56.4 million in 1H19.

Bowspirit, the manager of the REIT, said it will monitor the situation closely, and it is possible that a further relief similar to the first half of the year may be considered for the second half of the year. 

At the end of 1H20, cash and cash equivalents stood at $17.8 million, down from $32.9 million at the end of 2019.

Looking ahead, First REIT said it will continue to work closely with its tenants to weather the headwinds of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected patient visits to hospitals in Indonesia. It added its healthcare assets in Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea continue to carry on its business under strict precautionary measures and regulations.

As at 9.40am, units of First REIT were trading at 64 cents, down 3.7% from the previous close of 66 cents.