SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Frasers Hospitality Trust’s (FHT) distribution per stapled security (DPS) fell by 45.5 per cent to 0.179 cent, for the first half of its 2021 financial year ended March 31, from 0.3287 cent a year ago.

Gross revenue was down 36.2 per cent to $39.9 million, from $62.6 in H1 2020.

Performance remained “adversely affected” by the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought about a steep drop in global tourism, the trust said in a regulatory filing on Friday (April 30).

Net property income (NPI) fell 40.9 per cent to $26.7 million.

As the duration of the pandemic remains uncertain, FHT has retained $5.2 million or 60 per cent of distributable income.

Comparing the H1 results against H2 FY2020, however, revenue and NPI improved 53.8 per cent and 83.5 per cent, respectively, due mainly to better performance of the Australia portfolio. FHT’s properties, the Novotel Melbourne on Collins and Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, secured contracts as isolation hotels starting from Oct 1, 2020.

During the half year, the trust has also benefited from Australia’s JobKeeper payment, the UK’s furlough scheme and Singapore’s Jobs Support Scheme. These helped its properties preserve jobs and conserve cashflow.

The trust noted the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) latest Panel of Experts survey, which predicted that it could take between 2.5 and 4 years for international tourism to return to 2019 levels.

“While uncertainty remains, FHT will continue to position its portfolio for the eventual recovery of international tourism. It has sufficient liquidity to ride through these extraordinary times and the master lease structure for its properties also helps to mitigate the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the trust.

FHT units closed 1.7 per cent or 1 cent lower at 56.5 cents on Thursday before the update.