Lower tin prices drag earnings at The Straits Trading Co down by 58.6%

SINGAPORE - The Straits Trading Co has posted a 58.6 per cent drop in first quarter earnings to $2.4 million.

Revenue for the three months to March 31 fell by 14.5 per cent to $145.6 million, mainly due to lower contribution from the resources segment on the back of lower average tin price.

Average tin price during the quarter fell by 18.6 per cent to US$18,400 per tonne compared with US$22,600 in the same period last year.

For the resources segment, the net loss amounted to $1 million, with the operation in Butterworth negatively impacted by an unfavourable valuation adjustment of $4.8 million on tin inventory due to the lower closing tin price and higher foreign exchange translation losses.

The operation at Rahman Hydraulic continues to be profitable.

Real estate revenue fell as there was no revenue from Straits Trading Building after it was sold in December last year.

The segment recorded a net profit of $2.2 million, down from $4.2 million previously.

The hospitality segment was negatively impacted by foreign exchange translation losses, resulting in a lower net profit of $200,000 against profit of $3.3 million in the previous corresponding period.

Earnings per share slipped to 0.6 cent from 1.6 cents previously while net asset value per share eased to $3.26 compared to $3.32 Dec 31.

Looking ahead, the company said real estate investment arm Straits Real Estate, through subsidiary SRE Capital, has established a new open-ended fund called SRE Asian Asset Income Fund on April 1.

SRE has committed initial seed capital of $130 million to the fund, with a plan to raise additional capital from accredited investors globally.