CapitaLand's profit dives 40% in fourth quarter to $247.7m

Artist's impression of Lotus Mansion, a CapitaLand residential development in Shanghai. CapitaLand says it achieved record sales of 9,402 residential units in China, valued at 15.4 billion yuan ($3.3 billion), in 2015, with 2,910 of the units sold in
Artist's impression of Lotus Mansion, a CapitaLand residential development in Shanghai. CapitaLand says it achieved record sales of 9,402 residential units in China, valued at 15.4 billion yuan ($3.3 billion), in 2015, with 2,910 of the units sold in the fourth quarter.PHOTO: CAPITALAND

Earnings plunged at CapitaLand in the fourth quarter, due mainly to the absence of fair value gains recorded from the sale of Westgate Tower.

The developer booked a one-off gain of $123.5 million from the sale of the office tower in the same quarter in 2014.

Net profit came in at $247.7 million for the three months to Dec 31, down 39.5 per cent on the $409.4 million recorded a year earlier.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • NET PROFIT: $247.7 million (-39.5%)

  • REVENUE: $1.74 billion (+14.6%)

  • EARNINGS PER SHARE: 5.8 cents

  • TOTAL DIVIDEND: Nine cents per share (Unchanged)

Revenue rose 14.6 per cent to $1.74 billion, largely driven by development projects in China and higher rental turnover from the serviced residence business.

However, the cost of sales rose more steeply at $1.36 billion, up 25.9 per cent from the previous year, owing to higher project costs.

Net profit for the full year was $1.07 billion, down 8.2 per cent from 2014, while turnover rose 21.3 per cent to $4.76 billion.

CapitaLand said yesterday that it achieved record sales of 9,402 residential units in China, valued at 15.4 billion yuan ($3.3 billion), in 2015, with 2,910 of the units sold in the fourth quarter.

The provision for foreseeable losses rose to $105.1 million in the fourth quarter, from $91.8 million a year earlier, mainly due to projects in Singapore's softening residential market.

CapitaLand sold 244 residential units in Singapore last year - including 93 units in the fourth quarter - with a total sales value of $559 million. That was lower than the 278 units transacted in 2014, valued at $561 million.

The developer has an inventory of 1,100 residential units here, including unsold ones and future launches. It said three developments - Cairnhill Road project, The Nassim and Victoria Park Villas - will be ready for launch in the first half of this year.

Earnings per share was 5.8 cents in the fourth quarter, down from 9.6 cents in the previous year, while net asset value per share came in at $4.21 as at Dec 31, compared with $3.94 at the end of 2014.

The developer has proposed a dividend of nine cents a share for the 2015 financial year.

"Over the last two to three years, we have consciously re-rated some of our portfolio towards investment properties, with recurring income, that has provided us a lot of resilience and robustness," said CapitaLand president and group chief executive Lim Ming Yan at a briefing yesterday.

This business model helped the firm garner a 16.8 per cent growth in operating profit for 2015, the company added.

The developer expects the impact of cooling measures to continue to weigh on the Singapore residential market, while office occupancy and rentals are expected to "remain subdued".

Residential sales in China are projected to perform steadily this year, spurred by favourable government policies.

CapitaLand shares closed 4 cents down at $2.86 yesterday, after the earnings announcement.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2016, with the headline 'CapitaLand's profit dives 40% in fourth quarter to $247.7m'. Print Edition | Subscribe