SINGAPORE (Jan 25): The manager of Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT), reported a DPU of 1.927 cents for 3Q19 ended Dec, an increase of 3.2% over the same period last year.

For the period from Apr 1 2018 to Dec 31 2018 (YTD FY19), DPU was 5.734 cents, 2.7% higher compared to the period from Apr 1 2017 to Dec 31 2017 (YTD FY18).

Gross revenue increased 19.4% to $105.6 million for 3Q19 compared to corresponding period last year due to revenue growth from Festival Walk, Gateway Plaza and Sandhill Plaza as a result of higher rent; and contribution from Japan properties following the completion of acquisition on May 25 2018.

Property operating expenses increased 23.3% to $21.0 million for 3Q19 compared to the corresponding period last year. The increase in property operating expenses was due to the acquisition of the Japan properties; higher marketing and promotional expenses at Festival Walk; and higher property and lease management fees in line with the growth in revenue.

Net property income for 3Q19 increased 18.5% to S$84.6 million, compared to the corresponding period last year.

There was also a net foreign exchange loss of $0.4 million, an increase in finance costs to $19.1 million as well as a net gain in fair value of financial derivatives of $0.8 million related to the mark-to-market movement of currency forward contracts to hedge currency exposures of future HKD, RMB and JPY distributable income.

Distributable income to unitholders for 3Q19 increased 15.9% to $61.0 million.

In its outlook, Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust Management says the volatile stock market and softer residential property market may continue to dampen retail sales performance.

Elsewhere in Beijing, tenants are taking a more cautious approach towards lease renewal and expansion in view of the uncertain economic environment, putting downward pressure on the city-wide occupancy rate.

However, business park supply in Shanghai is expected to increase and its Japan properties are expected to provide stable income streams, underpinned by high average occupancy rates and long average lease expiry period.

Units in MNACT closed 2 cents higher at $1.23 on Friday.