SINGAPORE – CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) raised its second-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) by 3.9 per cent to 2.92 cents, from 2.81 cents a year ago, the trust manager said on Tuesday (July 23) before the market opened.

For the three months ended June 30, net property income grew 10.2 per cent to $133.2 million, from $120.8 million a year ago. Gross revenue, meanwhile, was up 10.6 per cent to $189.5 million, from $171.4 million a year ago.

The improvement in gross revenue was mainly due to the completion of CMT’s acquisition of the remaining 70 per cent interest in Westgate shopping mall on Nov 1, 2018 which contributed $18.4 million in gross revenue, along with Funan mall’s reopening after a three-year redevelopment which contributed $900,000.

The increase was partially offset by lower gross revenue from Sembawang Shopping Centre, which was divested in June 2018, the manager said.

The Reit’s (real estate investment trust) aggregate leverage stood at 34.2 per cent, compared with 31.5 per cent a year ago. Its average cost of debt was 3.2 per cent, compared with 3.1 per cent a year ago.

Tony Tan, chief executive of the Reit’s manager, said the contributions from Westgate and Funan are expected to “anchor CMT’s steady financial performance” as the trust starts its rejuvenation of Lot One Shoppers’ Mall in the third quarter.

For the first half of the year ended June 30, DPU was up 3.8 per cent to 5.8 Singapore cents, from 5.59 cents a year ago.

Net property income rose 10.9 per cent to $273.3 million, from $246.4 million a year ago.

Mr Tan added that CMT “remains cautious” in its outlook. He added: “Competition for the consumer wallet is expected to stay keen with the progressive opening of new malls, although the supply of new retail space is projected to taper off from 2020. As a proactive Reit manager, we will continue to review our portfolio for possibilities to create value through acquisition and development opportunities.”

CMT units closed at $2.60 on Monday, down four cents or 1.52 per cent.