SINGAPORE (July 28): The manager of Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust (SG REIT) has posted distribution per unit (DPU) of 1.18 cents for the fourth quarter ended June, down 8.5% from DPU of 1.29 cents a year ago.

This brings FY16/17 DPU to 4.92 cents, a 5.0% decline from full-year DPU of 5.18 cents a year ago.

Income to be distributed to unitholders fell 8.5% to $25.7 million in 4Q, from $28.1 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to the effects of straight-lining rent adjustments, withholding taxes for Malaysia income, and higher cash retention.

Some $0.6 million of income available for distribution for 4Q has been retained for working capital requirements, doubled from $0.3 million retained last year.

Gross revenue rose marginally in 4Q to $53.7 million, from $53.6 million a year ago.

This was due to rental uplifts from master tenancies in Ngee Ann City Retail and Malaysia, as well as higher contributions from David Jones Building and Myer Centre Adelaide.

The increase was partly offset by disruptions in revenue from the asset redevelopment at Plaza Arcade, lower contributions from Wisma Atria Retail and Singapore offices, as well as the divestment of a property in Japan in May 2017.

Consequently, net property income in 4Q was flat at $41.4 million.

The group’s portfolio of 11 prime properties across five countries – Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, China, and Japan – was independently revalued at $3.14 billion.

In a filing to SGX on Friday, Starhill Global says its gearing level remains stable at 35.3%.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $76.6 million as at June 30, 2017.

“Looking ahead, whilst the global economic picture points towards positive growth, the retail environment could remain choppy in view of competition from new malls and technology innovations,” says Tan Sri Dato’ Francis Yeoh, chairman of the manager.

“To stay abreast of competition, we have been recalibrating our portfolio, embarked on rejuvenating our assets while constantly sieving out opportunities with the aim of creating long-term value for our unitholders,” he adds.

Units of Starhill Global REIT closed 1 cent lower at 77.5 cents on Friday.