Yoma Q3 net profit jumps 49.8% to $7.8 million on currency translation gains

SINGAPORE - Currency translation gains boosted Yoma Strategic's earnings for the third quarter, despite a slump in revenue.

The Myanmar-centric firm announced its net profit for the three months to Dec 31, surged 49.8 per cent year-on-year to $7.8 million, causing its net profit for the first nine months of the fiscal year to more than double to $19.9 million from $9.5 million in the year-ago period.

This was largely thanks to a currency translation gain of $3.21 million from the appreciation of the US dollar against the Singapore dollar.

Revenue for the third quarter, however, plummeted by 17.2 per cent to $25 million on the back of lower sales from its Star City project, a residential building that Yoma had initially retained for rental purposes, in comparison to the corresponding quarter a year ago.

But this was mitigated by "renewed buying interest" in its Pun Hlaing Golf Estate (PHGE) project which helped sales of its residences gain 43.7 per cent to $15.7 million year-in-year.

A growing demand for corporate housing also drove demand for its rental properties in the quarter, as turnover from this segment rose to $1.5 million - well up from the $0.3 million a year ago.

"Notwithstanding the increased competition from new home launches, we are encouraged by the solid sales performance delivered at PHGE and expect sales momentum on the prime residential estate to continue," said Mr Andrew Rickards, chief executive of Yoma Strategic.

He added that revenue from Star City is expected to improve this quarter as it recognises fees for managing the construction of the project.

The firm, which also has investments in Myanmar's tourism market, benefitted from a contribution of $3.4 million from its "Balloons over Bagan" hot-air balloon business.

The firm's earnings per share for the quarter ended Dec 31 came in at 0.6 cents, up from 0.45 cents a year ago. Net asset value per share as at Dec 31 was 37.69 cents, up from 32.11 cents as at Mar 31 last year.

Yoma also announced on Monday that its one-for-three rights issue is 46 per cent over-subscribed. With each new rights share priced at 38 cents, the rights issue has raised some $164.4 million.

The net proceeds of $163.9 million will be used to purchase the Landmark Development site, additional LDRs (land development rights) in Pun Hlaing Golf Estate and the New Holland Tractor business, it said.

The 432.5 million rights shares are expected to be issued on Monday and listed and quoted on the SGX mainboard with effect from Tuesday morning.