Haw Par Corp ekes out 5% rise in first quarter profit to $7.7 million

Haw Par Corp has posted a 5 per cent rise in first quarter net profit to $7.7 million.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31 edged up 2 per cent to $33.1 million.

Its healthcare division reported a 62 per cent jump in profit to $5.4 million, thanks to a 12 per cent increase in sales to $23.3 million due to strong demand in key Asia markets and exchange gains from exports.

However, its leisure and property businesses saw profit fall by 36 per cent to $1.6 million and 12 per cent to $3.1 million respectively.

Earnings per share firmed to 3.9 cents from 3.7 cents previously.

Net asset value per share climbed to $11.89 compared to $11.37 as of Dec 31, mainly due to higher fair value of available-for-sale financial assets. This was before adjusting for a one-for-10 bonus issue that was announced recently.

Looking ahead, Haw Par said the operating environment will remain challenging.

"Leisure division may suffer further setbacks due to intense competition. The healthcare division is likely to perform better," it said.