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PETALING JAYA: While Capitaland Malaysia Trust’s (CLMT) recent financial results surprised some analysts on the upside, most agree that the second half of the year will remain challenging for the group.
CGS-CIMB Research said CLMT’s performance in the first half of the year was underpinned by the two festive periods in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22) and 2Q22 – Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.
“Retail sales were robust at 19% higher than the average pre-Covid 19 level, partially offsetting retail footfall, which stood at 22% below pre-pandemic levels,” it said.
“All in, the first half of 2022 (1H22) core net profit was above expectations, at 55% to 61% of our and consensus full-year forecasts,” said CGS-CIMB Research.
Still, CLMT which has under its portfolio complexes such as 3 Damansara, Sungei Wang Plaza and The Mines, may continue to face key headwinds in 2H22 and these challenges can be deduced from its 1H22 portfolio performance whereby office occupancy rate declined due to tenancy non-renewal and Sungei Wang Plaza remained in losses, among other factors.,
Kenanga Research in its report said with a recovery currently underway, shopper traffic soared 52% in 1H22 (although it still below the 2019 average) and tenant sales per sq ft is already above pre-pandemic level, CLMT hopes to ride the positive momentum and plans to raise occupancy rates.
“In terms of portfolio lease expiry profile, as a percentage of gross rental income, 26.4% and 34.9% are due for expiry this year and next year, respectively.
“Over the longer-term, it will be pursuing a diversification strategy to achieve a target of 20% asset under management in non-retail assets by 2025, starting with the maiden acquisition of a logistics warehouse in Sungai Jawi, Penang for RM80mil.”
CGS-CIMB Research said the recent RM80mil acquisition in Penang is the group’s first step in realising its asset diversification plans and it is estimating a gross rental income of RM6mil annually from it.
“We raise FY22 to FY24 earnings per share/distribution per unit by 14% to 20% to reflect stronger rental revenue and higher margins,” the reseach house said.
CLMT reported a 42% increase in net property income (NPI) to RM37.43mil for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022 from RM26.43mil in the corresponding quarter a year earlier, boosted by retail sentiment recovery and as businesses of its tenants gradually made a comeback.