Far East Orchard earnings down on lower development sales and currency swing

SINGAPORE - Far East Orchard reported an earnings drop in 2015 when the property firm was hit by weaker sales revenue and currency swings.

Net profit for the full year in 2015 dropped 17.9 per cent year-on-year to $29.1 million, as revenue slipped 14.2 per cent to $270.9 million, the company reported after market close on Friday.

Earnings per share were 7.18 cents as at Dec 31, down from 8.97 cents a year ago. Net asset was $2.86 a share, down from $2.92 a year ago.

Lower revenue recognised from euHabitat residential development project in Singapore was a drag on earnings, while an early hotel lease termination in Australia affected the hospitality division. There was no sale of medical suites last year.

"The sales denominated in Australian dollar and New Zealand Dollar were further impacted by the weakening of these currencies against the Singapore dollar during the year," Far East Orchard said.

But there were also upsides. The company has received the first four months of earnings from its student hostel properties in Newcastle upon Tyne. A $38.1 million divestment also helped offset the earnings drop.

In 2016, Far East Orchard expects a mixed outlook, as the hospitality segment here faces a rapid increase in room supply that is set to depress revenue.

But several of its joint ventures are progressing well. euHabitat has been 99.9 per cent sold, while its Australian joint venture to develop a mixed-use project in Sydney is on track with its sales target and completion in 2017.

Shares of Far East Orchard went up 2.5 cents or 1.67 per cent to $1.52 ahead of the results announcement.

Far East Orchard operates residential, commercial and hospitality properties in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries. In Singapore it also owns a portfolio of medical suites.