Weakening property market dampens Bukit Sembawang Estates' earnings

SINGAPORE - Developer Bukit Sembawang Estates posted a 29.1 per cent drop in fourth quarter net profit to $18.2 million.

This was despite revenue for the three months to March 31 almost doubling to $89.5 million from $46 million in the same period last year.

Profit for the full year eased by 3 per cent to $111.3 million on the back of a 15.1 per cent $408.3 million.

Gross profit was 8.3 per cent higher at $159.6 million, mainly due to higher profit recognition on development projects that have obtained temporary occupation permit.

However, pre-tax profit fell by 6.7 per cent due to the recognition of foreseeable loss on Paterson Collection development project amounting to $17.5 million as a result of the weakening property market, especially in the high-end segment.

Excluding the foreseeable loss, pretax profit amounted to $150.8 million.

Full year earnings per share dropped to 42.97 cents from 44.28 cents previously while net asset value per share firmed by 28 cents to $4.76.

Looking ahead, Bukit Sembawang noted that the cumulative effects of the Government's property cooling measures and implementation of the total debt servicing ratio regime for housing loans have dampened the demand and the pricing of private residential properties.

"The market conditions for landed and high-end residential property remain challenging and this will adversely affect the group's sales performance in the current year," it warned.

The board has recommended a final payout of 16 cents a share, up from 15 cents last year.