CapitaLand Mall Trust's NPI up 5.9% to $148.3m in Q1

But DPU is 70.5% lower as CMT retains part of taxable income to brace for pandemic’s impact.

CapitaLand Mall Trust’s (CMT) started the year on a high note with its net property income (NPI) rising by 5.9% YoY to $148.3m in Q1, compared to $140.1m a year earlier, an SGX filing revealed. Gross revenue also jumped 6% YoY to $204.3m from $192.72m over the same period of comparison.

The improved NPI was mainly attributed to the opening of Funan in June 2019, partially offset by the amortisation of rental rebates granted to tenants affected by COVID-19.

Also read: CMT and CCT merge to form Singapore's largest REIT

In view of the uncertainty and challenges brought about by the pandemic, CMT decided to retain $69.6m of taxable income in Q1 2020. This led to distributable income being 70.3% YoY lower than Q1 2019, at approximately $31.6m for the quarter.

As a result, distribution per unit (DPU) for Q1 was $0.0085, a decrease of 70.5% over the DPU of $0.0288 cents for Q1 2019.

“The impact from COVID-19 is expected to deepen in 2Q 2020 due to the ‘circuit breaker’ period, during which approximately 25% of the portfolio’s tenants are operating. In view of the continuing headwinds, we have exercised prudence by retaining about 69% of CMT’s 1Q 2020 taxable income to maintain our financial capacity and flexibility,” Tony Tan, CMT’s CEO, stated in a news release accompanying the SGX filing.

The group is suspending all non-essential operating and capital expenditure. CMT is also deferring all asset enhancement and development initiatives, except for the ongoing upgrading works at Lot One Shoppers’ Mall, said Tan.

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