Frasers Centrepoint Trust - Phillip Securities 2021-10-29: Early Recovery For Suburban Malls


Frasers Centrepoint Trust - Early Recovery For Suburban Malls

  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust (SGX:J69U)'s FY21 NPI of S$246.6mil (+122.4%) and DPU of 12.085 cents (+33.7%) were in line, forming 96% and 99% of our estimates.
  • ~S$9mil in rental rebates provided in FY21, one-third of that provided in FY20.
  • Occupancy and NPI margins back to pre-pandemic levels, positive reversions at six out of nine malls.
  • Reiterate BUY call on Frasers Centrepoint Trust, with DDM target price (COE 6.38%) lowered from S$2.87 to S$2.83. We lower our FY22e-25e DPU by 5.8%-6.6% to factor in a more conservative pace of rental growth.
  • Catalysts expected from growth in mall catchment, asset enhancement and M&A/collaboration opportunities.

The Positives

NPI margin back at pre-pandemic levels.

  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust's FY21 NPI margins improved y-o-y from 67.5% to 72.3% due to cost-containment initiatives and lower marketing cost due to absence of atrium events. Historical NPI margins have tracked between 70%-72%.
  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust was able to trim operating cost through various initiatives such as employing central security office to reduce manpower costs. The absence of atrium sales also reduced marketing expense. As restrictions on use of atrium space is lifted, increased marketing cost should be offset by returning atrium revenues, keeping NPI margins stable.

Retail occupancy up 0.9ppt y-o-y to 97.3%.

  • Occupancy has normalised to pre-pandemic levels, up from Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s low of 94.6% a year ago. Occupancy improved across six out of nine of Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s malls.
  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust has begun renewal discussions the 35.7% of GRI expiring in FY22. ~25% of these leases are currently in advanced stages of negotiation or in the documentation phase.

The Negatives

Retail reversions landed in the red.

  • Full year reversions were -0.6%, weighed down by negative reversions at Changi City Point, Century Square and Tampines 1 which came in at - 9.8%, -2.8% and -0.1% respectively.
    • Changi City Point was affected by weaker demand as the asset is located near business parks and the Singapore Expo and impacted by lower footfall due to the WHF and absence of trade show and events.
    • FY21 expiries for Century Square were high at ~40% as many tenants were signed after the mall was repositioned three years ago. The unfortunate timing of lumpy expiries during the pandemic has led to a slower absorption of space.
  • The remaining six out of nine malls registered positive reversions ranging 0.3% to 2.5%.
  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s only office asset, Central Plaza, also registered positive reversions of 1.9%. As retail leases typically include rental step-ups during the lease term.
  • Reversions on average incoming vs average outgoing rents were +2.1%, implying rental growth over the next three years.

Slight decline in portfolio valuation.

  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust's portfolio valuation dipped S$8mil or 0.1% of AUM y-o-y. Causeway point registered a $S7mil increase in valuation, 1.1% above its pre-pandemic valuation. Decline in valuation was attributed to two assets – Changi City Point and Yishun 10 Retail podium – due to the pandemic situation. Yishun 10 houses cinema operator Golden Village. Capacity constrains in cinema halls have also reduced the footfall for the asset and could have resulted in weaker leasing. Valuations for the remaining six out of nine malls were unchanged, keeping their pre-pandemic valuations.

July and September tenant sale dipped to 93% and 98% of 2019 levels due to restrictions on group size and in-restaurant dining.

  • We note that Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s tenant sales underperform the RSI (ex MV) in periods of tightened restrictions as consumers tend towards e-commerce and avoid crowded places.


Stronger demand from F&B retailers.

  • Frasers Centrepoint Trust noted strong leasing demand from F&B retailers, stemming from new-to-market brands and expansions. However, care has been taken so as not to crowd the malls with too many F&B offerings in the interest of preserving the retail diversity and preventing cannibalisation amongst F&B tenants.
  • Apart from F&B, Frasers Centrepoint Trust has also received interest from fashion retailers and grocers. Consolidation and relocation amongst tenants are par for the course, but Frasers Centrepoint Trust has dealt with such circumstances opportunistically. For instance, the exit of a mini-anchor tenants at Waterway Point allowed Frasers Centrepoint Trust to relocate Toys R Us to the second floor, creating a kids’ zone, while Toys R Us’ vacated space was taken up by Don Don Donki, creating a value zone.

Healthy occupancy cost points to sustainability of rents.

  • Occupancy cost measures tenants’ cost of maintaining a physical store relative to the amount of revenue generated by the store. It has trended between 15.7% to 17.0% from FY16-19 but spiked to 19% in FY20. Occupancy cost dipped to 17.5% in FY21, implying a more sustainable level of rents to further rental growth as reopening progresses.

Maintain BUY, target price lowered from S$2.87 to S$2.83

Natalie Ong Phillip Securities Research | https://www.stocksbnb.com/ 2021-10-29
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY MAINTAIN BUY 2.83 DOWN 2.870