CapitaLand Retail China Trust, or CRCT, reported Wednesday its first quarter net property income rose 7.0 percent on-year to S$39.80 million on stronger rental growth and lower expenses. That beat a forecast from Daiwa.
Gross revenue for the quarter ended 31 March rose 1.1 percent on-year to S$55.96 million, the trust said in a fling to SGX after the market close.
The distribution per unit (DPU) was 2.59 Singapore cents, down 5.8 percent from 2.75 Singapore cents in the year-ago quarter, CRCT said.
Daiwa had forecast net property income of S$37.1 million on revenue of S$55.9 million, with a DPU of 2.58 Singapore cents.
Property operating expenses fell 11.2 percent on-year to S$16.15 million, CRCT said.
In yuan terms, net property income for the quarter increased 10.7 percent on-year to 198.9 million yuan, CRCT said.
In the outlook, Tan Tze Wooi, CEO of CapitaLand Retail China Trust Management, the REIT’s manager, pointed to China’s economic growth coming in at 6.4 percent in the first quarter.
“The fiscal stimulus rolled out by the Chinese government, which include business and individual tax cuts, is expected to boost consumer sentiments. These developments bode well for CRCT, which has sustained its growth momentum into the new year through proactive asset management and value enhancement initiatives,” Tan said in the statement.
In the first quarter, CRCT tenants’ sales increased 9.8 percent on-year, while shopper traffic rose 14.0 percent, the filing said.
Portfolio occupancy excluding CapitaMall Wuhu, which is being divested, was 97.4 percent at end-March, it said.
As of end-March, CRCT’s portfolio includes 11 shopping malls in eight cities in China.