Tat Hong Holdings' fourth quarter net profit jumps 66% to $18.6 million

HIGHER crane rentals and sales in the Asia-Pacific region boosted fourth quarter earnings at Tat Hong Holdings, it announced today.

Net profit for the three months to Mar 31 jumped 66 per cent to $18.6 million, while revenue climbed 10 per cent to $199.6 million over the same period last year.

The crane operator also reported full-year earnings $70.4 million and a record revenue of $836.9 million.

Increased turnover at its Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand business units and excavator sales in Indonesia offset the lower sales of equipment in Australia and excavators in Vietnam.

Tat Hong's crane rental earnings improved due to contributions from its key markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia.

Its tower crane rental division also recorded a 27 per cent growth in full-year revenue to $74.5 million from a year ago.

But revenue from the general equipment rental division dropped 4 per cent to $92.6 million on weaker demand from the mining sector in Queensland and reduced activity in New South Wales.

Chief executive Roland Ng said in a statement: "The demand for our crane rental business continues unabated, aided by the boom in the infrastructure and oil and gas sectors in the region."

Mr Ng added that Tat Hong will continue to get more projects in sectors that will help expand the crawler and mobile crane business.

Earnings per share for the fourth quarter was 3.07 cents, up from 1.96 cents, while net asset value per share was $1.08, up from 98 cents a year earlier.

Tat Hong is proposing a final dividend of 2.5 cents, bringing the payout for the year to 4 cents including the 1.5 cents paid on Nov 30 last year .

Tat Hong shares closed up three cents at $1.51.