Hyflux's earnings fall owing to lower level of divestment activities

SINGAPORE- Earnings for the year ending Dec 31 fell at Hyflux owing mainly to a lower level of divestment activities in 2015 compared with 2014.

Earnings for the 12 months were $41.3 million, a 28 per cent decrease from 2014. Group revenue increased by 39 per cent to $445.2 million in 2015, owing mainly to the Qurayyat Independent Water Project (IWP) in the Sultanate of Oman.

The municipal sector continued to be the main contributor of the revenue, accounting for about 94 per cent or $419.1 million of the group's revenue.

Singapore and China continued to remain as Hyflux's key markets in Asia, accounting for more than half of the Group's total revenue. Singapore contributed about 38 per cent of revenue while China made up 20 per cent.

Revenue contributions from the Middle East and North Africa region rose to 39 per cent or S$176 million from 7 per cent in 2014, due to contributions from the Qurayyat IWP and a containerised desalination system project to augment the existing Yanbu Desalination Plant in Saudi Arabia.

The group's cash position was $313.7 million and the net gearing ratio at 0.85 times as

at Dec 31.

A final dividend of one cent per share was proposed. Together with an interim dividend of 0.7 cent per share paid in August last year, this brings the total dividend for the year to 1.7 cents per share.

Ms Olivia Lum, executive chairman and group chief executive officer of Hyflux said the group remained cautious on the business outlook in the near term owing to slower growth in China and volatility and lower liquidity in global markets.

Despite these headwinds, the group will continue to actively tender for municipal and industrial projects in Middle East, Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia, she said.

It will also focus on the consumer segment for a stable recurring income.

"As part of our asset light strategy, we will continue to look for opportunities to monetise our water assets and recycle capital for new investments," she added.