Metro's Q1 profit up on higher dividend income, unrealised fair value gains

SINGAPORE - Retailer and property developer Metro's net profit more than trebled to $10.1 million for the first quarter ended June 30, up from $3.2 million in the same period a year ago.

The company reported on Monday that its earnings spiked despite revenue dipping 0.5 per cent to $31.2 million.

Much of the gains came from a 74.9 per cent jump in dividend income of $4.9 million, due to a higher strategic voting stake in Hong Kong-listed Chinese developer, Top Spring International Holdings.

Metro said its strategic voting stake in Top Spring rose to 19.7 per cent in the quarter, up from 6.1 per cent in the same period a year ago.

Unrealised fair value gains of $2.2 million were also recognised in the period owing to its portfolio of short-term equity investments in real estate investment trusts (Reits) held by its property division.

The fair value gain in the period under review was a reversal of last year's $4.6 million loss.

The firm also gave an update on the new departmental store in Orchard, saying Metro Centrepoint is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of its current financial year, between October and December.

Despite a tough, competitive environment in the retail space, sales from Metro's stable of departmental stores crept up by 0.4 per cent to $28.8 million.

Metro announced previously that it is taking over Robinsons' place as anchor tenant at Centrepoint mall.

Earnings per share were 1.2 cents for the quarter, up from 0.4 cent previously.

Net asset value per share was $1.41 at the end of June, down from $1.43 at the end of March.

Metro shares closed unchanged at 90 cents today. It reported its earnings after markets closed.