MARINE engineering firm Sembcorp Marine managed to eke out quarterly gains amidst what it described as "a challenging operating environment".
It reported a 3 per cent increase in net profit to $122 million for the first-quarter ended Mar 31.
Earnings rose on the back of a 27 per cent increase in turnover to $1.34 billion, due mainly to higher revenue recognition from its rib building activities and offshore platform projects.
But it was prevented from going higher by increased cost of sales, which rose 30 per cent to $1.16 billion.
A 28 per cent decline in other operating income to $12.4 million also put a drag on profit growth.
Earnings per share rose to 5.87 cents from 5.69 cents in the quarter.
Net asset value per share stood at $1.34 at the end of March, up from $1.28 at the end of December.
The company said in a statement that "while enquiry levels remain healthy, competition is keen and intense, exerting pressure on margins."
Sembcorp Marine shares closed a cent down at $4.06 on Friday. It reported its earnings after markets closed.