Higher contributions from a newly acquired British hospitality group helped lift first-quarter earnings at mainboard-listed Rowsley.
The diversified lifestyle real estate and investment firm announced yesterday that net profit for the three months to March 31 surged 53 per cent to $4.8 million.
Revenue jumped 25 per cent to $20.5 million, thanks largely to a higher $3.8 million share from the British hospitality group, which now accounts for 18.5 per cent of the group's overall topline.
Rowsley in November last year completed a £29.1 million (S$57.5 million) acquisition for a 75 per cent stake in three companies holding the assets of Hotel Football, a boutique hotel next to the Old Trafford stadium, Cafe Football, a restaurant in east London, and GG Collections, a hotel management firm that manages both Hotel Football and Cafe Football.
The group's architectural, engineering and master planning consultancy RSP raked in a turnover of $16.7 million, just $360,000 up from previously, amid continued weakness in the local real estate market.
Operating expenses expanded 79 per cent to $8.6 million, mainly owing to $2 million in operating expenses for the British hospitality business, an increase in RSP's project expenses as well as the group's selling and marketing expenses and professional fees.
AT A GLANCE
NET PROFIT: $4.8 million (+53%)
REVENUE: $20.5 million (+25%)
Earnings per share for the quarter grew to 0.108 cent, up on the 0.07 cent the year before. Net asset value per share stood at 10.64 cents, higher than the 10.11 cents as at Dec 31. The group had $34.1 million in cash and cash equivalents as at March 31.
Rowsley said its latest results showed "the value created from diversifying our business into the hospitality industry as well as across geographies".
It noted that while the St Michael's mixed development project in Manchester continues to undergo the public consultation and planning approvals processes, it is closely monitoring the upcoming Brexit (Britain leaving the European Union) referendum for "any potential negative effect that may affect the launch timing for the St Michael's development".
It said RSP will continue to pursue more public sector projects, and projects particularly in India and the Middle East, given that Singapore's private real estate market remains challenging for its consultancy business. Rowsley shares closed flat at 14.5 cents yesterday, before the results were announced.