13 Nov 2013

Driving Growth and Embracing Sustainability

Highlights for the six months ended 30 September 2013:
Robust Financial Results
- Total revenue HK$3,493 million  ↑ 9.3%
- Net property income HK$2,517 million  ↑ 11.6%
- Interim distribution per unit (100% payout) HK80.22 cents  ↑ 12.9%
Sustainable Performance Indicators
- Average monthly unit rent per square foot (1)             HK$40.2 ↑ 4.7%
- Occupancy rate   94.1%
- Reversion rate (on average 3-year lease)  23.6%
- Retention rate  76.2%
- Tenants’ gross sales per square foot  ↑ 9.3%
- Net property income margin  72.1%
- Electricity consumption saving  13.7 million kWh
Strong Foundation for Growth
- Net asset value per unit (1)        HK$38.04  ↑ 6.6%
- Gearing ratio  ↓ to 11.6%
- Strong credit ratings A (S&P) / A2 (Moody’s)
- Available liquidity  HK$6.36 billion
Note: (1) These comparisons are based on 31 March 2013 figures while others are based on period ended 30 September 2012 figures.
The board of directors (“the Board”) of The Link Management Limited (“The Link Management”), as the manager of The Link Real Estate Investment Trust (“The Link REIT”; Hong Kong stock code: 823), today announced the unaudited consolidated interim results of The Link REIT for the six months ended 30 September 2013. Total revenue grew by 9.3% year-on-year to HK$3,493 million and net property income rose 11.6% to HK$2,517 million. The Board approved an interim distribution of HK80.22 cents per unit, an increase of 12.9% over the same period last year.
Nicholas Sallnow-Smith, Chairman of the Board of The Link Management, said, “Even after eight years of growth, much of the potential of our portfolio remains untapped.  We will continue to work at releasing that potential by improving the quality of the environment and services our shoppers experienced and by doing so, add value to the local community and our investors.  We have also expanded on our community engagement with the establishment of The Link Together Initiatives.   We have selected 10 projects to support and fund with an aim to further strengthen relationships with the communities around our shopping centres. ”
George Hongchoy, Chief Executive Officer of The Link Management, said, “Benefitting from the steady growth of Hong Kong’s retail market, our tenants business continue to thrive. For the period under review, revenue and interim distribution per unit grew by 9.3% and 12.9% respectively, as compared to the same period last year. Net asset value per unit as at 30 September 2013 grew by 6.6% to HK$38.04 from half year ago.”
Through our district strategy, we were able to identify asset enhancement opportunities that offer the best potential.  During the period, we completed the asset enhancement works at Chung Fu Plaza in Tin Shui Wai and Sheung Tak Plaza in Tseung Kwan O.  The upgraded properties would be able to provide better service to the expanding population in these districts.
As part of our strategic focus in New Territories West, we have expanded the project scope of Yau Oi Commercial Centre and On Ting Commercial Complex.  The two centres will be integrated as “One Mall” with significantly improved circulation and accessibility, providing an enhanced shopping experience targeting mid-market shoppers, young family segments and visitors from Mainland China. Upon completion, this will be The Link REIT’s largest enhancement project since its listing, and will become our flagship shopping centre in Tuen Mun.
Our sustainability efforts continue to reach new heights. The Link REIT was selected as a constituent of the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index for the first time this September, which marked another global sustainability recognition following our inclusion in the FTSE4Good Index earlier this year. We also achieved ‘Green Star’ status in the 2013 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. 
“Asset management and asset enhancement are interdependent building blocks in driving our organic growth. We are confident that Hong Kong retail market will remain healthy on the strength of the uplift in domestic consumption, and continuous growth in inbound tourism in particular from the Mainland.  The Manager expects rental to continue to grow steadily in the second half of the financial year,” said Mr Hongchoy.
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