08 Jun 2016
The Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Link Asset Management Limited (“Link Asset Management”), as manager of Link Real Estate Investment Trust (“Link”; Hong Kong stock code: 823), today announced the audited consolidated final results of Link for the financial year ended 31 March 2016. Total revenue grew by 13.2% to HK$8,740 million and net property income rose 14.9% year-on-year to HK$6,513 million. The Board approved a final distribution per unit of HK107.19 cents, which, together with the interim distribution per unit of HK98.99 cents, gives a total distribution per unit of HK206.18 cents for the year, an increase of 12.8% over the previous year.
Nicholas Allen, Chairman of the Board of Link Asset Management, said, “I am pleased to report another strong set of annual results despite the prevailing marketplace volatilities. Our focus on creating value through innovative technologies and management practices, complemented by our commitment to sustainable and responsible business practices, has enabled us to transform retail properties into the preferred choice for shoppers and tenants. This past year has also seen a dynamic and diversified portfolio taking shape at Link, as we acquired two properties in Mainland China and won the tender for a commercial complex in Mong Kok, a core retail district of Hong Kong.”
George Hongchoy, Chief Executive Officer of Link Asset Management, said, “At the end of its first decade, Link continues its strong performance that underpins the solid foundation for its future growth. The year under review was active and productive, seeing us capitalise on a number of unique and high potential investment opportunities, and launch our new brand, which is critical in guiding and steering the organisation in the years to come.
“Following a careful study of our portfolio, we have segmented our Hong Kong portfolio into three groups, namely Destination, Community and Neighbourhood, which facilitates management and marketing to be tailored to different types of tenants and shoppers. We have also rolled out in April a new Asset Management Model for 20 properties, under which dedicated Asset Managers will oversee their operational and financial planning to enhance asset value.”
EC Mall, our first Mainland retail asset, recorded exceptional performance with occupancy rate reaching 100% and retail reversion rate of 38.7%. Corporate Avenue 1 & 2, a commercial asset in Shanghai, achieved office reversion rate of 12.8% with occupancy rate of 100%.
During the year, five asset enhancement projects were completed, namely Tsing Yi Commercial Complex, Temple Mall North, Long Ping Commercial Centre, Wo Che Plaza and Tin Shing Shopping Centre. We have 11 asset enhancement projects underway with another 8 projects to commence and over 16 other projects currently undergoing review, taking our asset enhancement pipeline well into 2020.
Completion of the acquisition of the commercial complex at 700 Nathan Road, our first asset in core business district of Hong Kong, took place subsequent to the financial year end in April. The asset will undergo a wholesale renovation to convert into a modern retail podium and tower, leveraging on Link’s expertise in asset enhancement and mass market retail leasing.
We have started the foundation works for the commercial development project on Hoi Bun Road, which is one of the first commercial projects in Hong Kong to be registered as a WELL Building Standard project, apart from targeting HK-BEAM Platinum and LEED Platinum certification.
As part of our disposal strategy to recycle capital, we disposed of five properties in December 2015, and nine properties in May 2016, all achieving sale prices above valuation.
The first ten years have seen the transformation of Link from being a passive manager of a portfolio of legacy assets to becoming an innovative and world-class real estate investor and manager. This lays the foundation for sustainable growth for the communities we serve.