KUALA LUMPUR (April 28): CapitaLand Malaysia Trust (CLMT) posted a 45% rise in net property income (NPI) to RM36.1 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 (1QFY22), from RM24.9 million in the previous year corresponding quarter, on the back of a gradual reopening of more economic sectors.

Distributable income for the quarter amounted to RM20.5 million or 0.95 sen per unit, while revenue grew 19% to RM67.59 million from RM56.66 million a year earlier.

CapitaLand Malaysia REIT Management Sdn Bhd (CMRM) chairman Lui Chong Chee said CLMT’s result improved on the back of domestic consumption recovery as containment measures were eased.

He pointed out that almost all pandemic-related restrictions faced by retail operators have been lifted, as the nation commenced its transition to the Covid-19 endemic phase on April 1.

“The greater normalisation of economic and social activities will augur well for the general recovery of Malaysia’s retail sector. In particular, shopping malls that cater to tourists will receive a boost from the reopening of borders.

“Although we anticipate improvements in business performance in FY22, we are mindful that consumer spending may take some time to recover and return to pre-pandemic levels. In the meantime, we will reinforce our efforts on stabilising CLMT’s portfolio through proactive asset and lease management. We are also actively exploring acquisition opportunities to build a diversified and resilient portfolio,” Lui said.

CMRM CEO Tan Choon Siang said the trust’s NPI and distribution per unit (DPU) continued to see quarter-on-quarter improvements.

“Portfolio occupancy as at March 31, 2022 declined slightly to 79.5%, largely due to the exit of a supermarket anchor at 3 Damansara. In addition to replacing the supermarket anchor, we will be taking this opportunity to embark on a holistic turnaround plan for 3 Damansara to strengthen the mall’s appeal as a neighbourhood destination.

“CLMT’s retail tenants have been allowed to operate at full capacity since April 1, 2022.

“Coupled with the reopening of borders, we look forward to the return of tourists and increased footfall to CLMT malls. We will strive to maintain a healthy portfolio occupancy and sustainable rental income, whilst actively pursuing new investment opportunities with financial discipline,” said Tan.

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