SINGAPORE (Oct 30): The manager of Starhill Global REIT has declared  a 1Q19 DPU of 1.15 cents, 4.2% lower compared to 1.20 cents in 1Q18.

However, on a q-o-q basis, DPU grew 5.5% from 1.09 cents in 4Q18.

As at Sept 2018, the REIT’s portfolio consists of properties in Singapore – 74.23% of Wisma Atria and 27.23% of Ngee Ann City; Australia – Myer Centre Adelaide, David Jones Building and Plaza Arcade in Adelaide and Perth; Malaysia – Starhill Gallery and Lot 10 Shopping Centre; China – Chengdu Xin Hong Property; as well as Japan – two properties in Tokyo.

During the quarter, the REIT’s gross revenue dropped by 1.8% to $52.0 million from $53.0 million a year ago, mainly due to lower contributions from Wisma Atria and the Australia Properties as a whole largely due to the depreciation of AUD against SGD.

This was partially offset by higher contributions from Ngee Ann City and Plaza Arcade following the completion of its asset redevelopment, as well as the appreciation of MYR against SGD.

Property expenses saw a slight 0.2% y-o-y decrease to $11.6 million, bringing net property income for 1Q19 to $40.4 million, 2.3% lower than $41.4 million in the previous year.

The REIT registered a loss of $0.2 million in change in fair value of derivative instruments, compared to a gain of $1.43 million last year.

Overall, income available for distribution was 1.9% lower at $26.2 million from $26.7 million.

Francis Yeoh, chairman of YTL Starhill Global, says, “Global economic growth may be suppressed by the escalating trade dispute between the two largest economies in the world as well as rising interest rates. While the global retail industry is experiencing structural changes as a result of changing consumer preferences which present new challenges, we believe there are new opportunities for progressive retailers as well as innovative and forward-thinking landlords. We will continue to assess potential asset enhancement and acquisition opportunities for our portfolio, by leveraging on our sound financial standing.”

Units in Starhill Global REIT closed at 66 cents on Tuesday.