Divestment of WBL shares lifts gain of Straits Trading; 50-cent-a-share dividend declared

GAINS from disposal of WBL Corp shares firmly put The Straits Trading Co back into the black.

It reported second quarter net profit of $69.7 million, reversing from a loss of $11 million in the same period last year.

Revenue for the three months to June 30 eased marginally to $225.2 million from $225.7 million previously.

The group's resources revenue decreased by a quarter to $164.1 million, mainly due to lower sales quantity of refined tin.

Its hospitality revenue grew by 9 per cent to $38.4 million, mainly due to higher occupancies and average room rates achieved by some of the hotels.

As for the property business, revenue fell by 5 per cent to $5.5 million, owing to lower rental revenue from residential properties.

Earnings per share swelled to 17.7 cents against a loss of 3.4 cents previously while net asset value per share grew to $3.57 compared to $3.49 as at Dec 31.

Straits Trading's sale of Rendezvous Grand Hotel Singapore and Rendezvous Gallery to Far East Hospitality Trust and Serene Land was completed on Aug 1. The group received $217 million in cash and about $68 million worth of units in the trust.

A special interim dividend of 50 cents a share was declared.