PETALING JAYA: Axis Real Estate Investment Trust (Axis-REIT) remains optimistic of its growth prospects on the back of the satisfactory performance of its existing property portfolio and growth strategy to pursue quality investments.
For the first quarter ended March 31, 2023 (1Q23), Axis-REIT’s total trust income was up by 5.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM70.2mil from RM66.7mil in 1Q22.
Net profit, however, was down by 24% y-o-y to RM30.3mil or earnings per share of 1.74 sen, from RM39.8mil in 1Q22.
On a y-o-y basis, Axis-REIT’s property income rose by 5.3% to RM69.7mil in 1Q23, underpinned by a 5.2% increase in its total trust income for the quarter.
The group said in a statement the higher earnings were due to, among others, contribution from the properties acquired after 1Q22 namely Axis Industrial Facility 1 @ Meru and the ‘green certified’ DW1 Logistics Warehouse in Johor.
The latter, acquired back in April 2022, was Axis-REIT’s largest acquisition to date.
In 1Q23, Axis-REIT capital expenditure amounted to RM47.7mil, of which RM44.1mil was used to finance the ongoing development of Bukit Raja Distribution Centre 2 and Axis Mega Distribution Centre (Phase 2).
Axis REIT Managers Bhd chief executive officer and executive director Leong Kit May said the company’s strategy to eye Grade A logistics and manufacturing facilities with long term leases from tenants, has paid off as reflected in the REIT’s rise in total trust income.
“Moving forward, we believe subsequent quarters will improve progressively on the strength of this strong growing portfolio and the newly refurbished Axis Facility 2 @ Bukit Raja’s tenancy is starting in mid May. As of the end of 1Q23, we have already renewed 64% of the space that will be expiring in 2023,” she said in a release yesterday.
Axis-REIT’s property portfolio size remains at 62 properties as at 1Q23.
The group also noted that RM172.9mil was raised from the issuance of 100,000,000 new placement units pursuant to its placement exercise that was completed in January.
The proceeds were used to pare down the short-term financing of Axis-REIT which were drawn down earlier to finance acquisition and to provide headroom for future acquisitions.
Axis-REIT declared the first interim dividend of 2.05 sen, or RM35.7mil of income distribution, for 2023.