CapitaMall Asia reports 10 per cent rise in first quarter profit to $73 million

CONTRIBUTIONS from its new malls helped CapitaMalls Asia (CMA) post higher net profits for the first quarter.

Net profit for the three months to March 31 rose by 9.6 per cent to $73.2 million from the same period a year ago, said CMA.

The acquisition of Olinas Mall in July and the opening of The Star Vista in September, both in the last year, helped boost its revenue for the three months to March 31, 2013.

Revenue for the three months to March 31 increased 29.1 per cent to $91.5 million, from $70.9 million in the same period a year ago.

The better performance was also thanks to higher contributions from the CapitaMall Trust, ION Orchard, and its Chinese properties Minhang Plaza and Hongkou Plaza. Higher interest incomes earned from loans to its shareholders also helped lift the firm's revenue.

Earnings per share for the three months to March 31 came in at 1.9 cents, up from 1.7 cents in the corresponding quarter a year earlier, while net asset value per share as of March 31 was up from $1.67 a year ago to $1.70.

CMA chief executive Lim Beng Chee added that its key markets in Singapore and China continued to record growth in the first quarter, and was optimistic about retail sales in China following it's Government's efforts to increase the minimum income and boost domestic consumption.

"In Singapore, tenants' sales on a per square metre basis increased 3.6 per cent. In China, net property income grew 15.2 per cent and the total tenants' sales on a same-mall basis increased 15.9 per cent," said Mr Lim.

CMA will open two more malls in Singapore - Westgate and Bedok Mall - and will open its CapitaMall Meilicheng in Chengdu on Sunday.

CMA share price rose seven cents to close at $2.04 today.