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Al-Hadharah Boustead REIT records 8.8% rise in operating profit

KUALA LUMPUR: The Al-Hadharah Boustead REIT (real estate investment trust) achieved an 8.8 per cent increase in realised operating profit of RM69 million for its financial year ended Dec 31, 2009, from RM63.5 million
in the previous year.

This was mainly due to a stronger contribution from fixed rental income as a result of the inclusion of two new estates, Bebar and Malakoff, the fund said in a statement on  Friday Jan 29.

The positive result was achieved on the back of a revenue of RM71 million as against RM67.5 million last year.
For financial year 2009, net asset value per unit rose to RM1.31 from RM1.26 in 2008 due to a revaluation exercise on the plantation assets which resulted in an increase in market value of its plantation assets portfolio to RM831 million.

"Albeit turbulent commodity prices, particularly for crude palm oil, the fund was still able to register increased turnover and improved profit," said Boustead REIT Managers Sdn Bhd's chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.

"Reflecting our earnings track record, and given the market's expectation of the fund being a strong dividend yielding REIT, we will be paying a dividend of 9.3 sen for the year under review," he said, adding that this represented a significant yield of 7.15 per cent based on the closing price for the year.

To date, 3.69 sen has been distributed and the remainder along with the performance-based dividend will be distributed to unitholders on the register as at Feb 17, 2010.

Due to the adverse market conditions which had a strong impact on global crude palm oil (CPO) prices, the fund closed the year with an actual average CPO price of RM2,191 per metric tonne which was drastically lower than RM2,627 per metric tonne in 2008.

"The prospects of CPO are expected to remain positive given the potential supply disruption due to weather conditions and increasing demand for edible vegetable oils," Lodin said.

"As such, we are confident that the fund should sustain its earnings projection moving forward," he said. -- Bernama
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