Lian Beng's earnings up 58.5% on higher property development income

SINGAPORE - Higher revenue from property development and workers' dormitory business helped lift Lian Beng Group's results for the first quarter.

The construction and development firm said on Monday that its net profit for the three months to Aug 31 soared 58.5 per cent to $12 million from the same period a year ago.

Revenue was up 10.8 per cent at $167.6 million.

Lian Beng attributed the improvement to higher revenues from profits recognised from joint ventures it had formed to develop the NEWest mixed-use project, KAP Residences, The Midtown and Midtown Residences.

The firm's share of results arising from associates and joint ventures rose to $5 million for the first quarter, reversing from the $3.6 million loss it suffered a year ago.

"The property development projects which we had increasingly participated through joint ventures in the past are bringing in the results now. This positive outcome is testimony of the management's acumen in diversifying our business to include more revenue sources," said Mr Ong Pang Aik, executive chairman of Lian Beng.

Earnings per share came in at 2.26 cents for the three-month period ended Aug 31, up from 1.43 cents recorded a year earlier. Net asset value per share was 75.88 cents as at Aug 31, up from 74.49 cents as at May 31.

Lian Beng added that its order book stands at $1 billion, which will give the firm a pipeline of activities until the end of its 2017 financial year.

It also expects its construction business to continue to drive its revenue, while recognition of profits from development projects under construction should continue to contribute to its earnings.

Lian Beng's shares closed one cent down at 63 cents on Monday.