Hyflux's full-year profit falls 28% on weaker divestment activity

A lower level of divestment activity hit the bottom line at water treatment firm Hyflux in the previous financial year although turnover rose, it reported yesterday.

Earnings came in at $41.3 million for the 12 months to Dec 31, down 28 per cent on 2014.

It was a different story with revenue, which increased 39 per cent to $445.2 million, thanks mainly to returns from a water project in Oman.

Gains on the sale of property, plant and equipment came in at $15.5 million, down from $103.7 million in 2014.

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

Singapore and China, Hyflux's key markets in Asia, combined to chip in 58 per cent of turnover while the Middle East and North Africa region accounted for 39 per cent or $176 million, up from just 7 per cent in 2014.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • REVENUE: $445.2 million (39%)

    PROFIT: $41.3 million (-28%)

    FINAL DIVIDEND PER SHARE: One cent (-37.5 per cent)

This was due to the Oman project. A desalination system project to augment one in Saudi Arabia also added to revenue.

The group made a loss per share of 1.05 cents after adjusting for dividends to perpetual preference shares and perpetual capital securities. This was down from earnings of 1.66 cents per share in 2014.

Excluding the adjustments, earnings per share would have been 5.15 cents for 2015, Hyflux said.

Net asset value was 54.2 cents as at Dec 31, down from 56.6 cents on Dec 31, 2014.

A final dividend of one cent per ordinary share was proposed. Together with an interim dividend of 0.7 cent paid in August last year, this brings the total dividend for the year to 1.7 cents per ordinary share. This is 26.1 per cent lower than the dividend of 2.3 cents paid for 2014.

Hyflux said a gas-turbine power plant has been connected to the national power grid since August last year and that the firm has started selling electricity to the grid.

It said, however, that the local electricity market is expected to be challenging.

Executive chairman and group chief executive Olivia Lum said yesterday that the group remained cautious in the near term, owing to slower growth in China and volatility and lower liquidity in global markets. "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.

Hyflux shares closed one cent or 2 per cent up at 51 cents.

The results were released after the market closed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 19, 2016, with the headline 'Hyflux's full-year profit falls 28% on weaker divestment activity'. Print Edition | Subscribe