KepLand's Q4 net profit falls 21.6%

SINGAPORE - Weaker economic growth in Singapore and the continuation of property market curbs are likely to make 2015 yet another challenging year for Keppel Land.

The property developer said this as it posted a sharp drop in fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

Net profit for the three months to Dec 31 fell 21.6 per cent to $444.5 million from the preceding year, it said in a Singapore Exchange filing.

This was despite a 39.5 per cent jump in revenue from the previous year to $705.4 million for the quarter.

The group said that revenue grew due to higher turnover from its property trading and fund management segments, but a lower fair value gain on investment properties hurt net profit. That figure came at at $220.2 million for the quarter, 33.5 per cent lower compared with the previous year.

For the full year, net profit fell 15.1 per cent to $752.5 million from the preceding 12 months even though revenue grew 2.5 per cent to $1.5 billion.

Earnings per share for the fourth quarter stood at 28.8 cents, down from 36.7 cents the previous year.

Net asset value per share rose from $4.52 as at Dec 31, 2013 to $4.95 as at Dec 31 last year.

Keppel Land sold 304 units last year, mainly from Highline Residences, which had moved 148 of the total 500 units by the end of last year.

The group proposed a final dividend of 14 cents per share, higher than the 13 cents paid out last year.

Its shares closed at a $3.65 on Tuesday, the highest since November 2013. Trading in Keppel Land was halted on Wednesday.