SINGAPORE (Nov 12): The manager of Sasseur REIT has announced a 3Q distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.542 cents, 4.5% higher than the forecast quarterly DPU of 1.476 cents on higher-than-forecast entrusted management agreement (EMA) rental income sales from the REIT’s portfolio outlet malls properties.

The latest figures bring Sasseur REIT’s DPU for the year to date (YTD) 2018 to 3.13 cents, 4.5%  up from the forecasted 2.994 cents, driven by 2.6% higher-than-forecast EMA rental income of $58.7 million compared to an expected $57.2 million.  

EMA rental income for 3Q was 0.7% higher than forecast at $29.1 million.

Total sales of the REIT’s portfolio outlet malls properties was RMB1.1 billion ($218.1 million), up 7.9% from the projected RMB1 billion driven by contributions from the Chongqing, Bishan and Kunming outlets where sales were 9.9%, 10.8% and 8.6% higher than forecast, respectively.

Sales from the Hefei outlets came in at RMB216.6 million, which was 0.8% higher and largely in line with the forecasted RMB214.8 million.  

As at end-Sept, aggregate leverage stood at 32.5% with approximately $511 million of total debt, of which RMB-denominated loans comprise 75.5% of the allocation.

SGD-denominated loans take up the remaining 24.5%.  

“Despite the trade war with US and slowing down of China’s economy growth, Sasseur REIT’s strong sales growth demonstrated that outlets industry in China is unaffected as the characteristics of outlets industry is recession-resilient; the domestic consumption by the middle class in China remains robust and resilient; and the Chinese government is also promoting domestic consumption to support economic growth,” says Anthony Ang, CEO of the manager, of the REIT’s performance for the period under review.

Looking ahead, Ang expects the REIT’s four outlet malls to continue their strong performance and achieve the forecasted sales targets for FY18.

As at 11.14am, units in Sasseur REIT are trading flat at 68 cents.