Keppel REIT distribution income up 4.6% to $47.6m in Q3

This was thanks to income from recently-acquired 311 Spencer Street.

Keppel REIT has announced of distribution income of $47.6m for the third quarter, a 4.6% increase from a year ago mainly due to income from its Melbourne property 311 Spencer Street as well as lower interest expenses, according to a bourse filing.

For the first nine months of the year, distributable income came at $142.4m, notwithstanding the absence of income from Bugis Junction Towers, which was divested in November 2019, as well as the impact of COVID-19 relief measures.

The REIT committed total leases of approximately 955,600 square feet (sf) for the first nine months of the year, with an average signing rent rate of $11.03 per square feet (psf) pm. As of 30 September, less than 1% of its remaining leases are expiring.

Its portfolio has a committed occupancy rate of 93.8%. The portfolio WALE also further lengthened to 7.1 years from 4.6 years as of 30 June.

Rental collection for Q3 was also healthy at 97%, with only approximately $1.7m in rent deferrals at end September.

Keppel REIT noted the challenging operating environment in Singapore, Australia, and South Korea, with office rents decreasing in all three markets during the quarter.

TheCOVID-19 pandemic continues to present unprecedented challenges to the business community. The manager remains focused on maintaining stable and sustainable distributions to unitholders, and achieving long‐term growth. Keppel REIT’s high portfolio committed occupancy, long WALE and established tenants from diversified sectors will continue to support the REIT’s income resilience,” the REIT said.

To assist its tenants during the trying times, Keppel REIT released relief measures amounting to approximately $13.8m. These include the full-pass through of property tax rebates and cash grants from the Singapore government amounting to approximately $10m, as well as rental waivers for eligible tenants.

During the quarter, the REIT issued a total of $300m of perpetual securities at a coupon rate of 3.15%. Proceeds will be used to finance investments and asset enhancement works, as well as general working capital purposes, and to refinance borrowings, the REIT said.

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