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Stable performance, new assets support MLT’s Q2 DPU

STABLE performance across all its markets coupled with new portfolio assets boosted Mapletree Logistics Trust's (MLT) second-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) to 2.025 Singapore cents, up from 1.958 cents a year ago.

Gross revenue rose 14.2 per cent to S$121.8 million, due to higher revenue from its existing properties in Hong Kong, as well as the completed redevelopment of Mapletree Ouluo Logistics Park Phase 1, and acquisitions in Singapore, Australia, South Korea and Vietnam completed in FY19.

The portfolio achieved a positive rental reversion of about 1.8 per cent for the quarter, attributable mainly to leases in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Net property income rose 21 per cent to S$109.1 million, while amount distributable to unitholders rose 15.4 per cent to S$73.7 million.

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Notice of the books closure date and payment date for the quarterly distribution will be given in due course.

Separately, the Reit also announced the proposed acquisition of seven logistics properties in Malaysia, Vietnam and China for a total of S$493.4 million.

These include a logistics property in Malaysia for RM826 million (S$269.9 million), two logistics properties in Vietnam for US$38.9 million, and a 50-per-cent interest in each of four logistics properties in China at 314.3 million yuan (S$60.7 million).

The remaining 50-per-cent interest in the China properties will be held by its sponsor, Mapletree Investments.

The acquisitions are expected to be accretive to DPU and net asset value per unit.

They are modern logistics facilities developed by the sponsor with a young portfolio average age of 2.8 years. Built to high specifications, they cater to the modern requirements of third-party logistics firms and e-commerce tenants.

The Reit said the new buys will deepen its presence in four cities (Shah Alam, Bac Ninh, Binh Duong and Changsha), while adding another three cities (Chengdu, Jinan and Shenyang) to its network. This brings MLT's regional footprint to a total of 45 cities with access to a population base of over 150 million people.

"Malaysia, Vietnam and China are attractive logistics markets underpinned by favourable demand-supply dynamics. Growth in domestic consumption as well as e-commerce has generated a strong demand for modern logistics properties in prime locations.

"In addition, the supply of modern Grade A warehouses in these markets is relatively low, thus supporting a rent premium averaging 20 per cent over traditional warehouses."

As the acquisitions constitute "interested-person transactions", they will be subject to the approval of unitholders.

The manager intends to fund the acquisitions with equity and/or debt.

Units of the trust ended one cent lower at S$1.66 on Monday.