Wing Tai holds prices for Ardmore condo despite Q4 profit dive

7 of 43 units of the  Le Nouvel Ardmore condominium were sold at an average price of $4,000 per sq ft and the rest are aimed to be sold at around the same price.
7 of 43 units of the Le Nouvel Ardmore condominium were sold at an average price of $4,000 per sq ft and the rest are aimed to be sold at around the same price. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

The mid- to high-end market for properties remains constrained but do not expect any discounts for Wing Tai's luxury project Le Nouvel Ardmore.

The developer has sold seven of 43 units there at an average price of $4,000 per sq ft and is aiming to sell the rest at around the same price.

"We believe it's a very rare development, not only in Singapore but in Asia. We have a strong balance sheet and will be holding the price," chairman and managing director Cheng Wai Keung told a briefing yesterday.

While he does not expect any improvement for the high-end market, where prices have dived some 20 per cent from their peak, volumes are slightly better in the market for HDB upgraders, he noted.

Sales methods such as discounts work better for this segment, he said, when asked about the company's strategy to move units at its other project here, The Crest.

  • AT A GLANCE

    FOURTH-QUARTER REVENUE: $140.69 million (-35%)

    NET PROFIT: $1.88 million (-98%)

    DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 6 cents (+100%)

The company yesterday posted a 98 per cent drop in fourth-quarter net profit to $1.88 million, on the back of a 35 per cent fall in revenue to $140.69 million. Earnings dived 95 per cent to $7.08 million for the full year as revenue fell 20 per cent to $544.53 million.

This was because projects that previously contributed to turnover - Foresque Residences and Helios Residences - did not contribute in the 2016 financial year.

Revenue came from progressive sales of The Tembusu, additional units sold in Le Nouvel Ardmore in Singapore, The Lakeview in China and from the second phase of Jesselton Hills in Penang.

The company declared a first and final cash dividend of three cents a share, similar to a year earlier. It also declared a special dividend of three cents a share. This was mainly due to the cash from selling its half-share in the development company of Nouvel 18 for $410.96 million last month.

During the year, revenue from development properties was $329.8 million, investment properties $37.4 million and retail $169.6 million.

Mr Cheng noted that the company closed about 30 to 40 non-profitable shops over the past year. "There doesn't appear to be light at the end of the tunnel (for the weak retail sector) in the immediate future," he said. Still, some of the company's brands, such as Uniqlo - which is set to open its flagship store here - are growing, he added.

Earnings per share was 0.24 cents for the quarter, down from 14.79 cents a year earlier. Net asset value per share at June 30 was $4.04, against $4.07 a year earlier.

The counter closed up a cent to $1.78 yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2016, with the headline 'Wing Tai holds prices for Ardmore condo despite Q4 profit dive'. Print Edition | Subscribe