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CapitaLand Mall Trust distributable income up 4.4% in 2015

The distribution per unit also rose 3.8 per cent from the previous year, at 11.25 cents compared to 10.84 cents in 2014.

SINGAPORE: The Republic's biggest mall owner, CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT), reported a 4.4 per cent rise in distributable income for 2015 as occupancy at its malls remained high and shopper traffic increased.

Announcing this in a news release on Friday (Jan 22), CMT said distributable income was S$392 million in 2015, an increase from the 2014 figure of S$375 million.

The distribution per unit (DPU) also rose from the previous year, at 11.25 cents compared to 10.84 cents in 2014, a 3.8 per cent increase.

The distribution yield for unitholders, based on Thursday's closing price of S$1.96 per unit, is 5.83 per cent, CMT said.

Operationally, CMT also registered higher returns in 2015: Its gross revenue rose 1.5 per cent, from S$659 million to S$669 million, and its net property income increased 4 per cent, from S$448 million to S$466 million.

The bulk of this increase took place in the fourth quarter of the year, with jumps of 9.2 per cent and 18.6 per cent in gross revenue and net property income, respectively, compared to the same period the previous year. This was mainly due to the acquisition of Bedok Mall on Oct 1, 2015, the company said.

The company's average cost of debt and aggregate leverage ratio were 3.3 per cent and 35.4 per cent respectively as at Dec 31, 2015, it said.

According to CMT CEO Wilson Tan, the sales per square foot for CMT's tenants increased by 5.3 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year, while shopper traffic increased by 4.9 per cent. Its portfolio occupancy also remained high, at 97.6 per cent as of Dec 31, 2015, he said.

CMT Chairman Danny Teoh added that the increase in the company's DPU underscored the strength of its portfolio, "which has proven resilient through different economic cycles".

“Going forward, CMT’s established track record in proactive mall and asset management will ensure that we remain well-positioned to continually create value for our unitholders.”

CMT owns or has stakes in 16 shopping malls in Singapore including Tampines Mall, Junction 8, Funan DigitaLife Mall, IMM Building, Plaza Singapura, Bugis Junction, JCube, Westgate and Clarke Quay.