UOL posts lower Q1 net profit in absence of one-off gain

SINGAPORE - Net profit at UOL Group fell 39 per cent to $74.2 million for the property group's first quarter ended 31 March, due mainly to the effect of a one-time gain from the sale of land at Jalan Conlay in Malaysia realised in the first quarter of 2014.

Excluding the land sale, which reaped a net attributable gain of $44.3 million, net profit was down 3 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Group revenue in the first quarter fell 42 per cent to $238.3 million. But after $218.5 million in revenue from last year's land sale was stripped out, property development revenue in the first quarter more than doubled from $29.4 million to $77.3 million.

Contributing to the topline were three projects - Katong Regency, Seventy Saint Patrick's and Riverbank@Fernvale - contributed to the increase.

Revenue from property investments grew 9 per cent to $53.2 million, helped by the opening of OneKM mall in the fourth quarter last year.

Revenue from hotel operations fell 4 per cent to $102.6 million on lower contributions from Pan Pacific Perth and PARKROYAL Yangon, which were under renovation.

UOL said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange on Tuesday that demand for private residential properties is expected to remain muted with the rising interest cost and effects of property cooling measures.

The group added that with the new supply of hotel rooms and a weaker growth in tourist arrivals in Singapore, hotel room rates and occupancies are expected to moderate. Overseas, UOL expects trading conditions for its hotels - especially those in China - to remain difficult.

The results were announced after market close. UOL shares closed five cents lower at $7.51 on Tuesday.