Colonial First State Property Trust Group (CFT)
14 February 2001
Half-year results to 31 December 2001
Colonial First State Property Limited, the Manager of the Colonial First State Property Trust Group (CFT), is pleased to announce CFT's half-year results for the six months ended 31 December 2001.
CFT will pay a quarterly distribution of 4.525 cents per unit for the December 2001 quarter, bringing the distribution for the six months ended 31 December 2001 to 9.05 cents per unit. The payment date for the December 2001 distribution is 22 February 2002.
The Trust's earnings for the six months to 31 December 2001 were $54.1 million, an increase of 4.3% over the previous corresponding period. Earnings per unit remained steady, growing slightly to 8.77 cents per unit.
Underpinning this earnings result is net property income of $74.3 million, up 1.1% over the six months to 31 December 20001. The main factors contributing to this result were positive performances from the retail and office portfolios, where active asset management generated increases in net property income on a like-for-like basis2 of 1.0% and 1.5% respectively.
On a like-for-like basis net property income for the industrial and HTI office portfolios was down slightly on the previous corresponding period (-0.8% combined). This was predominantly a result of difficult market conditions during the period and the relatively short lease expiry profiles in the portfolios.
Importantly, the Trust was able to generate savings through lower debt expenses. These savings were a result of a reduction in the Trust's borrowings, lower interest rates and the restructure of existing hedging arrangements during the period.
Reinforcing the strength of the underlying assets in the portfolio, the positive revaluation of 25 properties during the period added $13.1 million to book value. On the back of the strong revaluation results Net Tangible Assets (NTA) per unit increased from $2.02 at 30 June 2001 to $2.04 at 31 December 2001. Properties with the most significant positive impact on the change in NTA were 56 Pitt Street Sydney (up $5.7 million), 85 Roberts Road Chullora (up $1.4 million), 300 Queen Street Brisbane (up $2.0 million), Forestridge Business Park (up $1.4 million) Castle Plaza (up $1.9 million) and Runaway Bay (up $2.6 million).
The listed property trust (LPT) sector outperformed the broader equities market in both the six and 12-months to 31 December 2001. In this strong LPT environment CFT generated a total return of 8.4% for the six months to 31 December 2001. For the calendar year the Trust's total return of 15.5% outperformed both the 12-month S&P/ ASX 200 Property Accumulation Index return of 14.6% and the UBS Warburg Diversified 200 Index return of 13.8%.
1 After adjusting for the sale and redevelopment of properties and rental guarantee payments the net property income grew by 0.7%.
2 After adjusting for the acquisition, sale and redevelopment of properties and rental guarantee payments.
A total of 51,361sqm was leased or renewed in the portfolio over the six months to 31 December 2001. The vacancy rate in the portfolio at 31 December 2001 was 4.7%, down slightly from 4.9% at 30 June 2001. The majority of vacancies are in the industrial and HTI office portfolios, where leasing slowed throughout the period as a result of both economic uncertainty following world events and the lead up to the federal election. A number of initiatives have been undertaken by the industrial asset management team to manage the leasing risk in the portfolio. This includes agent incentive programs and short-term lettings of vacant space to ensure income to the Trust is maintained. During the period a total of 4,875sqm has been let on short- term leases of less than six months.
The Manager is pleased to announce the leasing in the office portfolio of level 12 at 60 Castlereagh Street (1,170.5sqm) to RSM Bird Cameron for an eight-year term in February 2002. This deal brings the vacancy rate in the office portfolio down from 3.0% at 31 December 2001 to 2.4% today.
The retail portfolio's Moving Annual Turnover (MAT) for the 12 months to 31 December 2001 was $1,188 million, up 4.7% on the previous year. Specialty shop MAT was $383.1 million, showing an increase of 7.1% on the 12 months to 31 December 2001. These results were bolstered by the addition of new stores at Golden Grove Village. On a like-for-like basis total MAT increased by 3.6% and specialty MAT by 2.9%.
|December 2001||December 2000||% change|
|Total Centre MAT||$1,188m||$1,134m||4.7%|
|JHD Occupancy Cost||11.8%||-|
All sales figures are unaudited and exclusive of GST, and are calculated in accordance with the Jebb Holland Dimasi
`Implications for Shopping Centre Retail Sales Performance' Report October 2000.
With the opening of Baby Target in December 2001 the redevelopment at Golden Grove Village is now complete. Master planning of all retail centres in the portfolio is currently underway with completion expected in June 2002.
The $3.9 million refurbishment of the ground floor foyer and entrance at 300 Queen Street Brisbane commenced in December 2001. Forecast for completion in July 2002, the project will include an upgrade of the foyer and provide additional retail space.
Approval of the development application for a six storey 8,932sqm HTI office building with 258 car parking spaces at 8 Giffnock Avenue North Ryde was granted in November 2001. However, in the current economic environment the Manager will seek substantial pre-commitment before proceeding with the development.
The Trust currently has borrowings of $422.2 million, representing 24.3% of total assets. The weighted average interest rate (inclusive of bank margins) is 6.18%. Interest rate hedges over $104 million were renegotiated in September 2001. This has allowed the Trust to benefit from lower interest rates and has extended the Trust's hedging maturity profile. Interest rate swaps currently provide hedges over 66% of the Trust's debt.