Balloon payment in interest income lifts gain at Metro Holdings

Property group Metro Holdings, which is more well known for its eponymous departmental store, today reported a 43.4 per cent jump in third quarter net profit to $15.3 million.

This was despite a 1.9 per cent drop in revenue to $50.6 million for the three months to Dec 31.

The higher profit was mainly due to a balloon payment in interest income from loan notes held by its core property division.

The loan notes were liquidated early in the fourth quarter.

The retail division recorded higher sales but was unable to offset fully the lower rental income from the property division following the disposal of Metro City Beijing.

Pre-tax profit increased to $18.2 million from $12.4 million previously, mainly due to other income, including a significant increase in interest income, as well as changes in the fair value of the group's short-term quoted equity investments in property real estate investment trusts.

Earnings per share rose to 1.8 cents from 1.3 cents previously while net asset value per share firmed to 135.3 cents compared to 134.6 cents as of March 31.

Metro shares rose by 1.5 cents to 95 cents.

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