KUALA LUMPUR (May 6): Sentral REIT, formerly known as MRCB-Quill REIT, said today first quarter net property income (NPI) fell 4.2% to RM31.41 million from a year earlier on lower revenue and higher property operating expenses amid Covid-19 pandemic-driven uncertainties which affected the Malaysian real estate market.

In quarterly terms, Sentral REIT, which, owns among others, the Menara Shell and Platinum Sentral properties here, said the REIT’s NPI however increased 6.7% in quarterly terms during the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1QFY21).

"With the ongoing uncertainties due to [the] pandemic, the Klang Valley office and retail markets are expected to remain challenging. 

"We will continue to focus on asset management and leasing strategies that are centred on cost optimisation and tenant retention to overcome the challenging operating environment,” Sentral REIT said.

According to Sentral REIT today, 1QFY21 revenue fell to RM41.02 million from RM42.22 million a year earlier although net profit rose to RM20.7 million from RM19.79 million.

"As compared with the immediate preceding quarter (4QFY20), gross revenue in 1QFY21 of RM41 million was higher by 4%, as compared to 4QFY20 at RM39.5 million. 

"The property operating expenses for 1QFY21 has reduced RM0.4 million or 4.1% as compared to 4QFY20, mainly due to lower operating expenses incurred for some of the properties under the portfolio. This has resulted in NPI increasing by 6.7%,” Sentral REIT said.

Sentral REIT did not declare any dividend for 1QFY21.

"No income distribution was proposed for the current quarter as Sentral's distribution of income is paid on a half yearly basis,” the REIT said.

At Bursa’s 12:30pm break today, Sentral REIT’s unit price settled unchanged at 89 sen, which values the property trust at about RM952.3 million.

Sentral REIT has 1.07 billion issued units, according to notes accompanying its latest quarterly financial report.

According to Sentral REIT’s website, the property trust’s other properties here include a portion of Plaza Mont’ Kiara and Wisma TechnipFMC.

Plaza Mont’ Kiara is located along Jalan Kiara while Wisma TechnipFMC is situated along Jalan Tun Razak, according to the REIT.

Meanwhile, Menara Shell and Platinum Sentral are located along Jalan Tun Sambanthan and Jalan Stesen Sentral 2 respectively, the REIT said.

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