PETALING JAYA: Capitaland Malaysia Trust (CLMT), whose properties include Gurney Plaza, The Mines and 3 Damansara shopping malls, is seeing a stable recovery in the retail segment.
The tenant sales per sq ft in CLMT’s malls have exceeded the 2019 average by 5.3%, which TA Research described as “encouraging”.
This is despite the fact that shopper traffic in CLMT’s malls was 19% below the 2019 average.
Post-conference call with CLMT’s management, TA Research said that CLMT will be intensifying its efforts to increase portfolio occupancy by implementing proactive asset management and leveraging the sponsor’s vast network of strategic partners to introduce fresh retail offerings.
“However, escalating concerns around rising costs of living, labour shortages, and rising interest rates may affect the retail sector’s recovery.
“According to the management, CLMT’s distribution per unit (DPU) is expected to decrease by 2.5% to 3% for every 100 basis-point hike in the overnight policy rate,” it said in a note yesterday.
TA Research also noted that CLMT’s core net profit of RM65.1mil for the first nine months of financial year 2022 came in above expectations.
The core net profit accounted for 83% and 80% of TA Research’s and consensus’ full-year forecasts, respectively.
Looking ahead, the research house has raised its earnings forecast for the financial year of 2022 (FY22) by 5.5% as it reduced the average cost of debt from 3.5% to 3.3%.
“We make no changes to our FY23 and FY24 earnings forecasts,” it said.,
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According to TA Research, CLMT is actively seeking yield-accretive investment opportunities in existing and new asset classes in pursuit of inorganic growth.
This is despite CLMT acquiring a logistic property recently in Penang for RM80mil.
“To recap, CLMT has set a strategic roadmap to achieve a 20% asset under management target in non-retail assets by 2025.
“Its healthy gearing level of 35%, equivalent to about RM1bil debt headroom, will offer adequate financial depth to fund future acquisitions,” it said.
TA Research has maintained its “hold” recommendation on CLMT with an unchanged target price (TP) of 57 sen.
CGS-CIMB Research also reiterated its “hold” call, but reduced its TP to 54 sen.
Following the financial results for the third quarter of FY22, CGS-CIMB Research raised the DPU for FY22 to FY24 by 2.1% to 2.2%.
The higher DPU estimates were based on a higher payout ratio assumption of 92% compared to 90% of distributable income.
The research house pointed out that CLMT’s malls in Klang Valley were showing mixed operating indicators.
The biggest gainer in occupancy rate was the 3 Damansara mall due to the entry of a new supermarket anchor tenant, with an occupancy rate of 74.3% as at September 2022. However, the asset’s rental reversion was steep, down by 30.4%.,
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