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CapitaLand China growth outpaces economy

Singapore-based shopping mall investment company CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) grew its income last year by 10.3 per cent to S$89.2 million ($63 million) from S$80.9 million.  

With China’s economy growing 6.9 per cent last year, the company’s retail sales drew 10.7 per cent of RMB30.1 trillion ($4.58 trillion), reports CRCTML chairman Victor Liew (CRCTML manages CRCT).

“China’s slower growth is reflective of an economy undergoing transition, but it is expanding from a much larger base now and its growth is still considerably faster than those of most other economies,” says Liew. “CRCT’s family-oriented shopping malls are well-placed to benefit from China’s growing urban population and rising retail sales as domestic consumption becomes the country’s new growth engine.”

It was the first time CapitaLand China’s gross revenue had crossed the RMB1-billion mark, says CRCTML CEO Tony Tan. “Portfolio occupancy remained high at 95.1 per cent  as at December 31, while rental reversion for the full year was 8.1 per cent.

“Annual tenants’ sales increased 11.6 per cent and shopper traffic rose 1.8 per cent year-on-year.

“We continually refresh our mall offerings to stay relevant to our shoppers’ evolving preferences and needs. For example, CapitaMall Xizhimen (pictured) brought in the popular Jing Ge Steamboat to increase the variety of its F&B offerings, while CapitaMall Qibao introduced a water park.

“To improve sustainability and the shopping experience, CapitaMall Grand Canyon installed energy-saving LED lights in common areas and upgraded its car park with new flooring.

CapitaMall Wangjing is carrying out renovation work to rejuvenate its façade, and is on track to unveil its new look by June.

“We will continue to strengthen our malls’ tenant mix and uplift the shopping experience through continual asset enhancement initiatives.”

Gross revenue for the year increased RMB17.5 million, or 1.8 per cent, over the previous year. This was attributed mainly to rental growth from the multi-tenanted malls, partially offset by lower revenue from CapitaMall Minzhongleyuan, which was impacted by road closure for the building of a subway line, and from CapitaMall Wuhu, where tenancy adjustments are being introduced to achieve stronger positioning and better trade mix.

CRCT is the first China shopping mall real estate investment trust (REIT) in Singapore, with a portfolio of 10 malls. Listed in Singapore in 2006, its objective is to establish long-term investments in a diversified portfolio of real estate used primarily for retail in China, Hong Kong and Macau.

A significant portion of CapitaLand China’s properties’ tenancies comprises major international and domestic retailers such as the Beijing Hualian Group, Carrefour and Wal-Mart. The anchor tenants are complemented by specialty brands such as BreadTalk, Innisfree, KFC, Nanjing Impressions, Nike, Sephora, Starbucks, Uniqlo, Watsons and Zara.

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