SINGAPORE (Oct 30): The managers of Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT) have announced distribution per stapled security (DPS) of 1.1655 cents for the 4Q19 ended September, some 4.1% lower than DPS of 1.2154 cents a year ago.

This brings full-year DPS to 4.4129 cents for FY19, some 7.3% lower than DPS of 4.7613 cents a year ago.

Income available for distribution fell 2.9% to $22.3 million in 4Q19, on the absence of a write-back of tax provision that was included in the distributable income in 4Q18.

4Q19 gross revenue rose 2.1% to $39.5 million, driven by better overall portfolio performance but partially offset by foreign exchange impact arising largely from the weaker Australian dollar and British pound.

Consequently, net property income (NPI) climbed 2.3% to $30.0 million in 4Q19, compared to NPI of $29.4 million in 4Q18.

As at end-September, cash and cash equivalents stood at $85.0 million.

FHT’s investment portfolio was valued at $2.33 billion by independent valuers as at Sept 30, 2019, down from $2.40 billion a year ago.

 As at end-September, FHT’s total borrowings were $854.2 million, with gearing at 35.1%.

“With a global portfolio of 15 quality assets which are in prime locations of gateway cities, there are opportunities to rebalance our portfolio and create value for our stapled securityholders,” says Colin Low, CEO of the managers. “In this quarter, all country portfolios – except Australia – achieved better year-on-year performance.”

Low notes that the Singapore portfolio recorded higher room rates at higher occupancy levels of above 90%, while the UK portfolio continued to benefit from the weaker pound which led to all properties recording healthy gains in revenue per available room (RevPAR).

At the same time, the Japan portfolio reported higher room and food and beverage (F&B) revenue, boosted by events including the Rugby World Cup 2019.

“However, these were partially offset by the Australia portfolio which continued to report weaker performance due to the challenging trading environment in Sydney and Melbourne,” Low says.

“Coupled with our debt headroom, we continue to have the financial flexibility to pursue assets with better returns by acquiring from the right of first refusal pipeline from our sponsor, Frasers Property, or from third parties,” he adds.

As at 4.05pm, units in Frasers Hospitality Trust are trading half a cent higher at 73 cents.