SINGAPORE (Jan 21): Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) has reported a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.044 cents for 3Q19/20 ended December, some 2.1% higher than a year ago. 

The increase was attributable primarily to higher contributions from existing properties, but was partly offset by the absence of contribution from five properties in Japan divested in 1Q19/20. 

MLT’s overall growth was also moderated by the impact of weaker Australian Dollar, Korean Won and Chinese Renminbi. 

The spike in DPU also comes despite an enlarged base. The total number of issued units in 3Q19 increased to 3.8 million units from 3.6 million units in 3Q18. 

Amount distributable to unitholders increased 6.5% to $76.6 million from $71.9 million the previous year. 

This was due to the partial distribution of written back provision of capital gain tax for 134 Joo Seng Road and 20 Tampines Street 92, as well as gains from the divestments of 7 Tai Seng Drive, Mapletreelog Integrated (Shanghai) (HKSAR) and five properties in Japan. 

Revenue for the quarter inched up 0.3% to $121.1 million from $120.8 million in 3Q18. 

The revenue growth was due primarily to higher revenue contributions from existing properties and acquisitions in Australia, South Korea and Vietnam completed in FY18/19 and 3Q19/20.

Property expenses for the quarter fell 22.8% to $12.6 million, due to lower land rent following the adoption of a new accounting standard, as well as divestments completed in 1Q FY19/20. 

As a result, net property income (NPI) for the quarter increased 3.9% to $108.6 million, from $104.5 million in the previous year. 

As at end-December, cash and cash equivalents stood at $223.5 million. 

MLT’s portfolio now comprises 143 properties. Portfolio occupancy had improved to 97.7% from 97.5% in the previous quarter due to higher occupancy in Singapore, partly offset by lower occupancies in South Korea and China. The weighted average lease expiry (by net lettable area) of the portfolio stands at about 4.4 years. 

The value of assets under management as at end December 2019 stood at $8.3 billion. 

In its outlook statement, MLT noted that its customers continued to remain cautious about renewals and expansion amid geopolitical uncertainties and economic headwinds, with some looking to consolidate their operations to improve cost and operational efficiencies. 

CEO of MLT Ng Kiat says, “The equity raising in 3Q has a temporary drag on DPU as the full contribution from the newly acquired seven properties will only kick in from 4Q. Excluding this impact, 3Q DPU would have been 2.066 cents. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on our rejuvenation strategy to deliver sustainable long term returns to unitholders.” 

Units in Mapletree Logistics Trust closed flat at $1.81 on Monday prior to the release of results.