SINGAPORE (Apr 22): The manager of Parkway Life Real Estate Investment Trust (PLife REIT) has announced distribution per unit (DPU) of 3.32 cents for the 1QFY2020 ended March, some 1.4% higher than DPU of 3.28 cents in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The DPU growth came despite retention of $0.85 million for Covid-19 related relief measures for the quarter. In total, PLife REIT is setting aside $1.7 million to provide targeted assistance and support measures for affected tenants.

Excluding this Covid-19 related retention, amount available for distribution would have been at $21.0 million, 5.7% higher than a year ago.

Gross revenue rose 5.2% in 1QFY2020 to $29.9 million, from $28.4 million a year ago.

The increase was largely attributed to additional revenue contribution from the three Japan properties acquired in 4QFY2019, upward revision of the minimum guaranteed rent for Singapore hospitals by 1.61%, and the appreciation of Japanese yen.

Consequently, net property income was 4.5% higher at $27.7 million, compared to $26.5 million a year ago.

As at end March, cash and cash equivalents stood at $28.3 million.

The group had secured a six-year committed loan facility up to $82.0 million during the quarter. The committed loan facility will be used to term out the group’s remaining long-term loan facility upon its maturity in 3QFY2020.

The debt maturity profile will be extended to 2026 by then and there will be no near term debt refinancing need till June 2021, the manager said. As at March 31, 2020, gearing remained at 38.5%.

“Despite on-going uncertainties in the macro economy and volatility in the financial markets, PLife REIT remains in a stable financial position,” says Yong Yean Chau, chief executive officer of the manager.

“We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation closely, particularly in the countries where we operate, and adapt our tenant support measures accordingly,” he adds.

As at 9.31am, units of Parkway life REIT are trading 2 cents lower, or down 0.6%, at $3.31.