Healthcare, property businesses propel earnings of Haw Par Corp

SINGAPORE - Haw Par Corp said its third quarter net profit rose by 21.3 per cent to $42.4 million.

Revenue for the three months to Sept 30 edged up 3.3 per cent to $49.7 million, due to higher sales in healthcare segment and improvement in occupancy in property business.

Earnings rose on higher gross margins and absence of one-off loss on disposal of available-for-sale financial assets in prior year period.

Healthcare division's revenue of $44.7 million was 7.1 per cent higher, with operating profit increasing 27.5 per cent to $16.7 million due to better margins.

Revenue for the leisure division slumped by 76.5 per cent to $700,000 due to closure of Underwater World Singapore in June. The segment incurred a loss of $28,000 due to residual costs, which were partially offset by profits at Underwater World Pattaya.

Revenue from the property division increased 32 per cent to $4.3 million while profit increased 31.9 per cent to $3.4 million from improved occupancy.

Other income increased 15.7 per cent to $26.2 million, due mainly to loss on disposal of available-for-sale financial assets included in the same period last year.

Earnings per share climbed to 19.3 cents from 15.9 cents previously while net asset value per share eased to $10.88 compared to $11.57 as at Dec 31.

Looking ahead, Haw Par said its investments will continue to be affected by volatile equity markets amid geopolitical and economic uncertainties.

Demand for healthcare division's products is likely to remain relatively healthy, although subdued economic conditions in key markets could have a dampening effect, it added.

"Despite the weak demand in commercial office space, property is expected to provide a stable income stream based on current committed tenancies."