Starhill Global REIT’s Malaysian and Australian purchases in 2010 has helped buoy Q1 income distribution for unitholders.

Income available for distribution increased 27.9 percent to S$24 million. Of this, S$20.8 million was meant for distribution to unitholders, an increase of 13.1 percent. Another S$2.4 million has been allocated for convertible preferred unit (CPU) holders.

Distribution per unit (DPU) to unitholders was a record 1.07 cents, a gain of 12.6 percent from 0.95 cents in the previous year.

CPU from DPU holders was 1.36 cents.

In January 2010, Starhill Global clinched David Jones Building in Perth, while the Starhill Gallery and Lot 10 in Kuala Lumpur was added to its retail portfolio in June 2010.

Starhill Global’s gross revenue and net property in Q1 increased 21.9 percent and 27.2 percent to S$45.8 million and S$37.1 million respectively.

The group believed that higher revenue from its properties in Malaysia, Australia and China has helped balance the dips in Japan and Singapore.

Revenue from its properties in Singapore still comprised a major proportion of its portfolio at 60 percent (S$27.6 million).

However, net property income from Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City decreased 2.4 percent to S$22 million as new and renewed office leases were secured at rates under 2007 peak levels.

In contrast, Starhill Global’s Renhe Spring Zongbei property in Chengdu, China registered a 27.9 percent year-on-year increase in net property income  to S$3.2 million.

Starhill Global’s and David Jones’ Malaysian malls contributed S$7.6 million and S$2.9 million respectively to net property income.

The REIT’s gearing level was “prudent” at 30.2 percent, according to YTL Starhill Global, its manager.