Impairment losses at consumer goods unit force Hong Leong Asia into the red

BUILDING materials supplier Hong Leong Asia has fallen into the red, with a net loss of $34.9 million.

This was due to impairment of assets at its consumer products unit, Xinfei.

If this non-cash item were excluded, the group would have reported a net profit of $16.8 million.

This would still have been far below the $83.8 million profit chalked up in 2011.

Revenue for the year ended Dec 31, last year fell by 11.1 per cent to $4.11 billion, due mainly to the slowdown in China's economy which affected a significant portion of the group's business.

Loss per share amounted to 9.34 cents compared to earnings of 22.29 cents previously while net asset value per share fell by 21.4 cents to 207.06 cents.

Hong Leong Asia expects to return to profitability in this quarter as well as for the full year.

A final dividend of two cents a share was proposed, down from five cents last year.