Challenges, but CapitaLand Mall Trust grows income 5.5pc

CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) has achieved a 5.5 per cent year-on-year increase in net property income for its third quarter.

This reached S$119.5 million (US$85.7 million) for the period, ending September 30, compared with S$113.3 million for the same period last year.

Distributable income for the quarter was $98.4 million, 4.7 per cent lower. However, the income included the release of $8 million taxable income. Excluding this, the distributable income for the latest quarter would have been up 3.3 per cent.

“Despite uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment and challenging retail conditions in Singapore, CMT’s portfolio occupancy rate as at September 30 remained high at 98.6 per cent,” says CEO Wilson Tan of CapitaLand Mall Trust Management (CMTML), which manages CMT.

“For the first nine months, CMT also registered year-on-year growth of 2.9 and 1.2 per cent in shopper traffic and tenants’ sales per square foot respectively.”

In the latest quarter, CMT broke ground for Funan, an integrated development comprising six

storeys of retail, two office towers and a block of serviced residences on the site of the former Funan DigitaLife Mall.

“Building on the legacy of its predecessor as Singapore’s definitive IT mall, the re-imagined Funan will incorporate the tech experience throughout the entire integrated development, such as multi-dimensional cinema screens, the CBD’s first drive-through click-and-collect O2O service, and a smart car-parking system,” says Tan.

“By catering to new lifestyle needs, Funan is geared to serve this and future generations of tech- and socially savvy consumers, just like how the old Funan has served the generations Before.”

Funan is scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2019.

$54 million improvements

“Through asset enhancements over the years, Raffles City Singapore continues to thrive, attracting tens of thousands of shoppers, working professionals, hotel guests and visitors daily,” Tan says. “To further enhance the shopping experience, Raffles City Singapore will embark on interior rejuvenation works costing about $54 million. The improvements will cover the main entrance and mall interiors,.”

For its latest quarter, CMT registered higher gross revenue and net-profit interest (NPI) of 4.9 and 5.5 per cent respectively year-on-year. This was mainly because of a contribution of $14.5 million to gross revenue from Bedok Mall, which was acquired on October 1 last year, and higher rental revenue from IMM Building, Tampines Mall and Bukit Panjang Plaza following upgrades, and higher occupancy at Clarke Quay.

This was partially offset by the absence of recurring income following the divestment of Rivervale Mall in December, and lower gross revenue from the closure of Funan mall in July.

For the year to date, CMT’s gross revenue and NPI increased 6.5 and 6.8 per cent respectively.

CMT is Singapore’s largest REIT by market capitalisation, $7.7 billion as at September 30. It owns and invests in mainly retail property primarily in Singapore. CMT also has shares in CapitaLand Retail China Trust, the first China shopping-mall REIT. CMT is managed by CMTML, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of real-estate company CapitaLand.

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