Ezra's first quarter net profit nearly halves, causing share price to tumble

Offshore services group Ezra Holdings today reported a 49 per cent drop in first quarter net profit to US$6.8 million (S$8.3 million).

The weaker earnings sent Ezra shares tumbling 4.2 per cent to S$1.25.

Profits were hurt by higher expenses and lower contributions from associated companies.

This was despite revenue for the three months to Nov 30 rising 54 per cent to US$278.7 million.

Earnings per share slipped to 0.69 US cent from 1.54 US cents previously while net asset value per share increased to 118.47 US cents compared to 103.87 US cents as of Aug 31.

Revenue was boosted by higher sales from the offshore support services division, due mainly to the inclusion of new vessels for operations.

This was partially offset by vessels that were sent for repair and maintenance, and in transit to the next area of operations.

Financial expenses were up 28 per cent at US$10.5 million while share of profit from associates slumped by 64 per cent to US$1.8 million.

A 34 per cent increase in administrative expenses to US$35.8 million was attributed mainly to higher personnel cost as a result of increased hirings at the subsea division to prepare for new projects.

Bad debts written off also contributed to the higher expenses.