KepCorp's third quarter net profits slid 12%

SINGAPORE - Conglomerate Keppel Corporation's latest quarterly results continued to take a beating due to poor performance from its offshore and marine business.

Demand for drilling rigs has dropped although conversions and specialised shipbuilding has helped bolster performance for the unit.

Net profit for the three months to Sept 30 dipped 12 per cent to S$363 million compared with the same period a year earlier, it said Thursday (Oct 22).

Revenue slid 23 per cent to S$2.44 billion, due to lower contributions across all business units except its property business.

The turnover of Keppel Offshore & Marine dropped 36 per cent to S$1.41 billion due to lower work volume and some project deferments.

KepCorp's infrastructure business also suffered a 30 per cent decrease in revenue owing to lower revenue from the sale of electricity due to lower prices and volume. The absence of revenue from Keppel FMO after it was divested in the fourth quarter of 2014 was also a contributing factor.

The drop in revenue was partially offset by a surge in property revenue, by some 122 per cent, to S$487 million, thanks to higher contributions from residential projects in China.

Despite the challenging global economic environment, as well as a slowdown in Singapore, chief executive Loh Chin Hua felt that the group's results are "creditable".

"They demonstrate our resilience as a multi-business conglomerate, not just a single business company," he said.

He maintained that this business approach is evident in KepCorp's results this year, which "may not be fully appreciated by the market."

Earnings per share decreased 13 per cent to 20 cents, while net asset value per share rose 3.1 per cent to S$5.91 as at Sept 30, up from the S$5.73 as at Dec 31 last year.

KepCorp shares closed three cents up at S$7.29 today ahead of its results briefing.

kohping@sph.com.sg