SINGAPORE - Listed property heavyweight City Developments Limited (CDL) announced a record net profit of $384.9 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, an increase of 73.4 per cent over $222.2 million for the year-ago period.
The group said revenue rose 7.4 per cent to $846.9 million.
For the full 2014 financial year, CDL's net profit grew 12.2 per cent to $769.6 million from $686.2 million a year ago, as revenue rose 17.1 per cent to a record $3.76 billion.
CDL said property development was the main contributor to its pre-tax profit which crossed the $1 billion mark for 2014.
Despite tough market conditions, CDL, together with its joint venture associates, sold 1,378 units, including executive condominiums, worth a combined $1.4 billion, maintaining the group's position as Singapore's top-selling private-sector developer for 2014.
Hotel operations, primarily from Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc, were the next highest contributor. Pre-tax profit for this segment increased by 191.1 per cent for the fourth quarter and by 43.7 per cent for the full year.
CDL also noted that it made about $1.3 billion in overseas acquisitions in 2014, in line with diversification strategy.
Said Mr Kwek Leng Beng, CDL executive chairman: "In 2014, we made very deliberate efforts to focus on CDL's diversification strategy through geographic expansion and development of new investment platforms. In line with these objectives, CDL has acquired approximately $1.3 billion worth of assets in the US, UK, Italy, Japan and China in 2014. We also created the Profit Participation Securities (PPS) platform which raised $1.5 billion for the group's global plans.
"Headwinds are expected to persist for the Singapore market and the global economy remains fragile. Despite these uncertainties, there will always be pockets of opportunity. We remain poised to capitalise on this down cycle by building on our capabilities, expanding geographically, diversifying our products and creating our own opportunities both locally and abroad."
In addition to a final dividend of eight cents per share, the Board has recommended a special final dividend of four cents per share. Taking into account the special interim dividend of four cents paid in September 2014, the total dividends for 2014 come to 16 cents per share.