Popular posts 30.6% drop in Q3 earnings

Property and publishing helped offset a poorer showing from bookstores for retailer Popular Holdings in its third quarter.

The firm posted a 30.6 per cent tumble in net profit to $8.1 million for the three months ended Jan 31 from the preceding year, it said on Friday.

Turnover for the period eked out a meagre 2 per cent rise to $156.2 million from the year before.

The marginal revenue growth was mostly due to higher revenue from its property arm and its publishing and e-learning division, the firm said in a Singapore Exchange filing.

But sales from Popular's retail and distribution division fell, which it said was partly because two large retail outlets were closed in February and August last year.

Popular recorded revenue of $2.9 million in the quarter from the sale of one unit at its Ei8ht Raja project, a 26-unit freehold development in Balestier, it said.

The project was completed in May last year. The only sale there between Nov 1 and Jan 31 was of a 2,024 sq ft unit for $3 million, or $1,482 per sq ft (psf), according to Urban Redevelopment Authority data.

Earnings per share stood at one cent for the quarter, down from 1.4 cents the preceding year.

The group's net asset value rose slightly from 27.29 cents as at April 30 last year to 27.61 cents as at Jan 31 this year.

Its shares were last traded on Thursday, where they closed half a cent lower at 22 cents.