Sasseur REIT reports 1Q22 EMA rental income rose 4.7 percent

Chinese yuan (renminbi) notes. Photo by Eric Prouzet on UnsplashChinese yuan (renminbi) notes. Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

Sasseur REIT reported Thursday its first quarter entrusted management agreement (EMA) rental income increased 4.7 percent on-year in Singapore dollar terms to S$33.8 million, boosted by the yuan’s appreciation against the Singapore dollar.

In yuan terms, EMA rental income edged up 0.7 percent on-year to CNY158.5 million, on a higher fixed component of the rental income, the Chinese outlet mall REIT said in a filing to SGX.

Income available for distribution increased 4.7 percent on-year to S$24.7 million, Sasseur REIT said.

The distribution per unit (DPU) before retention of 10 percent of distributable income for working capital purposes came in at 2.024 Singapore cents, up 3.5 percent from 1.955 Singapore cents in the year-ago quarter, the REIT said. Sasseur REIT said the first quarter DPU was the highest since its listing on SGX.

Sales at the outlets for the January-to-March period slipped 3.6 percent on-year to CNY1.10 billion, due to weaker shopper sentiment after a new Covid-19 outbreak in several Chinese cities in early March, the REIT said. In addition, the Kunming Outlets saw lower tourist arrivals due to inter-city travel restrictions, the REIT said. Inventory levels of some popular brands were also affected by supply-chain disruptions due to Covid-related lockdowns in Shanghai and some logistics hubs, the filing said.

The average portfolio occupancy for the quarter was 95.4 percent, up from 94.4 percent in the fourth quarter and 93.5 percent in the year-earlier period, the REIT said. That compared with 96 percent at end-2019, pre-Covid, the filing said.

Outlook

In its outlook, Sasseur REIT noted the Covid outbreak resulted in lower sales in April and early May.

“Our local operational teams are getting ready to launch aggressive marketing activities to attract shoppers and ensure a quick and strong rebound in our business once the Covid-19 outbreak in China eases,” the REIT said.