Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (Ascendas)
With a portfolio of 98 properties in Singapore, 35 in Australia and 38 in the UK as at 30 June 2019 – Ascendas is Singapore’s first and largest listed business space and industrial real estate investment trust. The manager of Ascendas is a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand.
FY 2018/19 Financial Highlights:
Source: Ascendas FY 2018/19 Presentations Slides
- Ascendas’ gross revenue for the financial year ended 31 March 2019 (FY 2018/19) grew by 2.8% year-on-year to SGD 886.2 million, driven by new acquisitions in Australia and the UK, as well as the completion of redevelopment works at Schneider Electric Building and 20 Tuas Avenue 1. However, the increase was also partially offset by non-renewals in certain properties in Singapore, as well as divestments in Singapore during the year.
- In addition, the REIT’s net property income rose by 3.2% year-on-year to SGD 649.6 million. This was attributed by the aforementioned growth in gross revenue, as well as higher net property tax savings.
- As a result, total amount available for distribution increased by 3.8% year-on-year to SGD 485.7 million, while distribution per unit improved by 0.3% 16.035 cents.
Source: Ascendas FY 2018/19 Presentation Slides
While certain segments performed better than others, Ascendas achieved an overall better year-on-year performance for the FY 2018/19. The REIT increased the number of investment properties under its management and grew its same-store valuation. However, its quarter-on-quarter performance dropped mainly due to its Singapore operations.
Performance Drivers (Positive Factors)
- Investment properties under management
Investment properties under management rose by 10.1% year-on-year to SGD 11.1 billion in FY 2018/19. Ascendas acquired SGD 948.0 million worth of properties in the UK and Australia, and also completed SGD 97.9 million worth of redevelopment and asset enhancement projects in Singapore. In addition, the REIT divested SGD 37.6 million worth of properties in Singapore during the financial year.
- Same-store valuation
Ascendas held 171 properties as of 31 March 2019 and 131 properties as of 31 March 2018. The same-store valuation (excludes properties which were newly acquired and divested during the year) of the 129 properties held as of 31 March 2019 improved to SGD 10.22 billion, compared with the SGD 10.11 billion valued as of 31 Mar 2018.
- Logistics and Distribution Centres segment
Ascendas experienced an increase in gross revenue and net property income from its properties in the Logistics and Distribution Centres segment. The increase was primarily due to the acquisitions of the First and Second UK Logistics Portfolios, logistics properties in Australia and contributions from the completed redevelopment at 20 Tuas Avenue 1.
- High-Specifications Industrial Properties segment
The REIT also saw a rise in the net property income from its properties in the High-Specifications Industrial Properties segment. The growth was mainly driven by the first full-year contribution from the completion of the redevelopment of Schneider Electric Building. Further, Ascendas benefited from lower property tax expenses arising from retrospective downward revisions in the annual value of certain properties in Singapore.
Performance Drivers (Negative Factors)
- Light Industrial Properties segment
There was a decline in both gross revenue and net property income for the properties in Ascendas’ Light Industrial Properties segment. The drop was largely caused by non-renewals in certain properties in Singapore, as well as the divestment of 10 Woodlands Link, 84 Genting Lane and 41 Changi South in Singapore.
- Higher property operating expenses
Ascendas incurred higher property operating expenses in FY 2018/19 mainly due to the new acquisitions, as well as expenses related to the deployment of the new operation command centre supporting multiple buildings in Singapore.
- Drop in quarter-on-quarter performance
Gross revenue and net property income in Q4 2018 dropped by 2.7% quarter-on-quarter primarily due to lower utilities income in Singapore, higher property tax in certain properties in Singapore, as well as the operating expenses incurred in relation to the deployment of the new operation command centre in Singapore.
Source: Ascendas Annual Report FY 2018/19