,Singapore

Ascott Residence Trust distributable income rose 96% to S$63.8m in H1

This included one-off partial distribution of divestment gains of S$20m.

Ascott Residence Trust (ART) distributable income in the first half (H1) of 2021 rose 96% year-on-year (YoY) to S$63.8m.

“The distributable income for H1 2021 included a one-off partial distribution of divestment gains of S$20m to share divestment gains with Stapled Securityholders, replace income loss from divested assets and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on distributions,” Ascott said.

The distributable income also included termination fee income received and realised exchange gains.

Ascott said it raised its distribution per staples security for the first six months of the year by 95% to 2.05 cents compared to last year through active portfolio optimisation. It also achieved S$360m in net gains from divestments from 2019 to 2021.

The company’s portfolio revenue per available unit (REVPAU) has risen over four consecutive quarters since the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 and reported an 18% increase in Q2 this year from the previous quarter.

“For H1 2021, ART’s portfolio REVPAU was S$60. On a same-store basis, the revenue and gross profit for Q2 2021 were 45% and 56% higher respectively compared to Q2 2020,” it said.

Bob Tan, chair of Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited (ARTML) and Ascott Business Trust Management Pte. Ltd. said, ART received S$580m of proceeds from divestment of its six properties at about 2% average exit yield. Total investments in the first half of about S$285m were at an average Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation yield of about 5%.

“With about S$140m remaining in divestment proceeds and a debt headroom of S$1.9b, ART has a strong financial capacity to seek investment opportunities in more long-stay lodging assets to deliver sustainable, long-term value to our Stapled Securityholders. ART aims to expand our asset allocation in rental housing and student accommodation properties from about 9% currently to about 15-20% of our total property value in the medium term,” Tan said.

Beh Siew Kim, CEO of ARTML and Ascott Business Trust Management Pte. Ltd., said they are “cautiously optimistic of the varied pace of recovery across global markets” as vaccination programmes speed up and the easing of restrictions.

“The initial phase of recovery remains largely driven by the domestic and essential corporate travel segments, and the return of international demand may be more gradual. ART’s properties in China continued to lead the recovery with higher corporate demand while properties in Europe benefitted from leisure demand brought on by the summer season,” she said.

“The block bookings at our properties in Australia, Singapore, and USA, as well as the long stays in Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam continued to offer stability,” she added.

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