Rowsley's Q2 profit nosedives, firm announces new investment in Indian venture

The weakening of the ringgit against the Singapore dollar resulted in a $15.9 million currency translation loss in Rowsley's investment in Vantage Bay JB (pictured), part of the group's slump in the second quarter.
The weakening of the ringgit against the Singapore dollar resulted in a $15.9 million currency translation loss in Rowsley's investment in Vantage Bay JB (pictured), part of the group's slump in the second quarter.PHOTO: BEST BLEND SDN BHD

SINGAPORE - Rowsley today said it had agreed to pay about $20.6 million cash for a 34.7 per cent stake in RSP Design Consultants (India), one of India's leading architectural services company.

Rowsley said wholly-owned subsidiary RSP Singapore signed a sale and purchase agreement with the former vendors of RSP Singapore to acquire Venture India, which owns the stake in RSP India.

The former vendors of RSP Singapore are Albert Hong Hin Kay, Lee Kut Cheung, Lai Huen Poh, Liu Thai Ker and Hud Abu Bakar.

Other shareholders in RSP India are the management team, which owns about 20 per cent, and Baring Private Equity Asia, which owns about 45 per cent.

RSP India, with over 360 employees over six office locations in the country, provides project management, building design consultancy, master planning, civil, structural, and mechanical and electrical engineering, interior design and landscaping design services in India. Its clients include globally-renowned brands such as Microsoft, Unilever, Hilton, Tata, and IBM.

Separately, Rowsley reported its second quarter net profit slumped 92 per cent to $516,000.

Revenue for the three months to June 30 fell by 20 per cent to $17.8 million.

The weak real estate market in Singapore led to declines in revenue contributions of about $2.8 million from RSP's architectural services and about $1.8 million from civil and engineering services.

These contractions were partially offset by higher revenue contribution of $300,000 from master planning services.

During the quarter under review, the Malaysian ringgit weakened further against the Singapore dollar resulting in a $15.9 million unrealised currency translation loss in the group's investment in Vantage Bay JB.

On the Vantage Bay project in Iskandar in Johor, Rowsley chief executive officer Lock Wai Han said the group recognises the prevailing challenges of high-end residential market and is evaluating suitable strategies to address the current state of the market.

Rowsley believes in the long-term fundamentals of Iskandar and that the region will continue to attract foreign investments in areas such as manufacturing, oil and gas, media, education and tourism.

Earnings per share shrank to 0.012 cent from 0.143 cents previously while net asset value per share slipped to 11.55 cents compared to 11.78 cents as at Dec 31.