Koh Brothers Q1 net profit rises 45% to $4.7mil

SINGAPORE - Better sales in its real estate unit helped boost earnings at construction and property firm Koh Brothers.

It reported on Friday that net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 rose 45 per cent compared with the same period last year to $4.7 million.

Earnings jumped on the back of a 26 per cent increase in revenue to $101.2 million, despite a 25 per cent increase in cost of sales to $86.7 million.

The company said its real estate division drove most of the growth.

Chief executive Francis Koh said in a statement: "The group's ability to achieve good performance for our property development business amidst challenging market conditions in the residential property market demonstrates the group's ability to differentiate our attractively-located residential properties to appeal to homebuyers."

For example, its 486-unit condominium project, Parc Olympic, which was launched in July 2012, was fully sold out in less than a year.

"Our joint venture in the real estate business also won the mandate to develop an executive condominium site in Westwood Avenue in Jurong West, Singapore in  1Q2014, and we look forward to this development's contribution to our real estate division's performance in due course," added Mr Koh.

Earnings per share rose to 1.06 cents at the end of March compared with 0.71 cent in the year ago period.

Net asset value per share improved to 50.16 cents at the end of March as opposed to 48.97 cents at the end of December.

Koh Brothers said it is cautiously optimistic of the industry prospects in the construction, property development and hospitality sectors.