The headlines from their latest Media Release last week screamed “SPH REIT delivered steady distribution. 1Q 2019 DPU held steady at 1.34 cents. Figtree Grove Shopping Centre – yield-accretive acquisition in New South Wales, Australia”.

As an income investor, I am naturally happy.

But is everything so rosy for SPH Reit? I somehow didn’t feel so.

Looking at the hard-financial numbers, it is not difficult to see that:

Net property income (“NPI”) for 1Q 2019 was $41.8 Mln, a 1.0% drop compared to Q1 2018 last year. Revenue also dropped but only by 0.6%. So, the property expenses was the culprit and indeed, it increased by 6.5% for the same period! Income available for distribution also dropped by 2.0% from $36.54 Mil to $ 35,86 Mil. But DPS the same leh at 1.34 cents, so, the payout % has to be bumped up to 96.5% to enable the same DPS.