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Ascendas India Trust sees 14% lower DPU of 3.60 cents in 2HFY2021

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The REIT's FY2021 DPU stood 11% lower y-o-y at 7.80 cents.

Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) has reported a distribution per unit (DPU) of 3.60 cents for the 2HFY2021 ended December, 14% lower than the 4.19 cents posted in the 2HFY2020.

This brings FY2021 DPU to 7.80 cents, which is 11% lower than FY2020’s DPU of 8.83 cents.

According to the REIT manager, the FY2021 decline was due to the higher DPU in FY2020 on the back of a one-off reversal of dividend distribution tax provision.

In the 2HFY2021, total property income rose 5% y-o-y to $97.4 million due to the income contribution from Anchor Annex building at International Tech Park Bangalore (ITPB) and aVance 6 at aVance Hyderabad. The growth was partly offset by lower occupancy and carpark income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Total property expenses for the 2HFY2021 fell 3% y-o-y to $18.9 million mainly due to lower operation and maintenance expenses across the REIT.

Accordingly, net property income (NPI) increased by 5% y-o-y to $78.5 million.

During the period, distributable income fell 14% y-o-y to $46.2 million.

In the FY2021, total property income inched up by 1% y-o-y to $192.7 million, while total property expenses fell 15% y-o-y to $37.0 million.

As such, FY2021 NPI rose 5% y-o-y to $155.7 million.

Distributable income for the FY2021 fell 11% y-o-y to $100.0 million.

In October 2021, a-iTrust completed its acquisition of a 6.6-acre greenfield site in Airoli, Navi Mumbai for the planned development of a fully-fitted data centre campus. Phase 1 of the development is expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2024.

The REIT, in November 2021, acquired a 0.62 million sq ft multi-tenanted IT SEZ building in Aurum Q Parc, Navi Mumbai. The acquisition was made at an “attractive valuation” for a gross consideration of 3.53 billion rupees ($64.1 million). The asset is expected to be “substantially leased” by 2023.

As at Dec 31, 2021, the REIT reported total portfolio occupancy of 87.5% with a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of 3.6 years.

Gearing as at Dec 31, 2021, was 35% on a loan-to-value (LTV) basis.

Its net asset value (NAV) per unit as at Dec 31, 2021, increased by 9% y-o-y to $1.18.

“Since India’s second wave of Covid-19 outbreak which peaked in June 2021, we saw a gradual increase in physical occupancy across our parks with about 11% of the park population back to office by year end,” says Sanjeev Dasgupta, CEO of the manager.

“With the uncertainty due to the Omicron variant, we are closely monitoring and supporting our tenants’ back-to-office arrangements, keeping their well-being and safety in our business parks as our key priority,” he adds.

On the REIT’s performance for the year, Dasgupta revealed that 2.8 million sq ft of its portfolio were leased or renewed in 2021 despite the “challenging leasing environment”.

“Portfolio rental reversion was positive at 5.5%. Office rental collections remain robust at 98%. We are encouraged by the early signs of leasing interest and expect leasing momentum to pick up based on ongoing tenant discussions,” he says.

“To strengthen portfolio resilience and enhance sustainable returns to our unitholders, we are actively undertaking asset enhancements and strategically diversifying to new economy assets such as data centres and logistics/industrial facilities,” he continues.

Units in a-iTrust closed 2 cents higher or 1.47% up at $1.38 on Jan 26.

Photo: a-iTrust

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