Monday, October 22, 2007

CMT is already one of Singapore’s biggest owners of malls with $5.8 billion worth under its belt

SINGAPORE’S biggest real estate investment trust, CapitaMall Trust (CMT), reported third-quarter group distributable income of $53.2 million, 17.2 per cent above the trust manager’s forecast and 29.1 per cent higher than in the year-ago period.

The shopping centre Reit yesterday also revealed plans to develop a low office tower with about 95,000 sq ft gross floor area (GFA) above the retail space at Tampines Mall. The time frame has yet to be finalised, but work could begin as early as sometime next year. CMT obtained outline planning advice from Urban Redevelopment Authority in July for a plot ratio increase for an office development and the trust has proceeded to apply for provisional permission to fully use the additional plot ratio increase from 3.5 to 4.2 for an office development.

For Funan DigitaLife Mall, CMT is currently exploring various options to unlock the value of this asset, after receiving provisional permission earlier this year, to build a nine-storey commercial block (predominantly offices) to maximise unutilised GFA of about 386,000 sq ft.

Asset enhancement works at Bugis Junction will see balconies being added on level 2 along Hylam and Malay streets, while opaque shopfronts on level 3 will be converted to glass parapets. Sembawang Shopping Centre’s redevelopment is on track for completion in Q4 2008.

CMT is already one of Singapore’s biggest owners of malls with $5.8 billion worth under its belt, but CapitaMall Trust Management Ltd’s CEO Pua Seck Guan says he is confident of growing this to $8 billion by 2010.

This will come from acquisition of malls from parent CapitaLand’s portfolio (such as Clarke Quay and a half-stake in Ion Orchard), as well as from other parties because of ‘CMT’s competitive cost of capital, superior skill set to extract value and established platform that allows us to optimise rentals,’ Mr Pua says.

Group gross revenue for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2007, was $114.5 million, which was 20.7 per cent or $19.6 million higher than CMTML’s forecast based on an offer information statement dated August last year.

Roughly three quarters of this outperformance was due to consolidation of three malls owned by CapitaRetail Singapore Ltd from June 1 this year, while the rest was due to top-line revenue growth at the other malls in the CMT portfolio.

CMT’s Q3 group gross revenue was also 39.5 per cent higher than that in the year-ago period and the increase was due to a full quarter’s contribution from the trust’s 40-per-cent stake in Raffles City this round, compared with just a month’s contribution in Q3 2006; the consolidation of the three malls under CRS since June 1 this year; as well as revenue increase in other malls largely because of new and renewed leases at higher rates, plus the completion of asset enhancement at IMM Building late last year.

Group net property income for Q3 2007 was $76.8 million, 21.7 per cent higher than the forecast and 44.5 per cent above that in the same year-ago period.

CMT unitholders will receive a distribution per unit (DPU) of 3.40 cents for Q3, inclusive of a 0.09 cent capital distribution from the trust’s investment in CRCT. The 3.40-cent payout works out to 13.49 cents on an annualised basis, or a distribution yield of 3.69 per cent based on CMT’s closing price yesterday of $3.66.

Source : Business Times - 20 Oct 2007

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