SINGAPORE (Apr 23): The manager of Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) has reported distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.048 cents for the 4QFY2019/20 ended March, up 1.2% from the DPU of 2.024 cents a year ago. 

This brings the REIT’s full-year DPU to 8.142 cents, a 2.5% increase from the previous year’s DPU of 7.941 cents. 

The higher DPU also comes despite an enlarged unit base amid the group’s recent equity fund raising exercise. 

Amount distributable to unitholders grew 6.2% to $77.8 million from $73.3 million in the corresponding quarter last year. MLT says that this was attributable primarily to a larger portfolio consisting of 145 properties as at end-March, compared to 141 properties a year ago. 

In addition, the group benefited from a partial distribution of written back provision of capital gain tax for its properties at 134 Joo Seng Road and 20 Tampines Street 92, as well as the gains from the divestments of MapletreeLog Integrated (Shanghai) (HKSAR) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, MapletreeLog Integrated (Shanghai). 

Revenue for the quarter saw a 5.5% increase to $128.1 million from $121.4 million last year. This was spearheaded by higher revenue contributions from existing properties and accretive acquisitions in Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

However, these were partially offset by the absence of revenue from six properties divested during the year.

MLT’s assets under management increased to $8.9 billion as at end-March. The increase was due primarily to new acquisitions and capital expenditure, as well as $117 million worth of net appreciation in investment properties attributable mainly to the REIT’s Hong Kong properties. 

As a result, net asset value per unit of MLT rose 3.4% to $1.21, from $1.17 a year ago.

As at end-March, cash and cash equivalents stood at $151 million. 

Earnings per unit fell to 3.84 cents from 7.12 cents last year, on the back of the enlarged unit base. 

As at Mar 31, MLT’s portfolio occupancy stood at 98.0% due to higher occupancies in Hong Kong and China. The REIT’s weighted average lease expiry (WALE) by net lettable area of 4.3 years.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the manager notes that the majority of MLT’s tenants across its eight markets are operational. Notably, the REIT’s tenants in core markets such as Hong Kong and Japan remain fully operational, while about 5% of Singapore’s tenant base has been impacted by the outbreak. 

MLT says that tenants from the retail, hospitality and travel industries, which account for about 10% of its revenue, are the hardest hit by the virus. 

Meanwhile, tenants who serve essential daily needs, such as food and beverage products, consumer staples and healthcare, continue to see healthy levels of activity.  These sectors account for some 30% of the REIT’s revenue. 

“While the logistics sector has been relatively resilient so far,we are mindful that the Covid-19 situation is dynamic and it could negatively affect our business performance,” says CEO of the REIT’s manager Ng Kiat. 

“During this period, proactive lease management, tenant retention and maintaining a strong balance sheet remain our top priorities,” he adds. “We will also remain vigilant on managing our cash flow and maintaining financial discipline, so as to continue delivering value to unitholders.”

Units in MLT closed three cents higher, or 1.74% up, at $1.75 on Thursday prior to the results announcement.