UOL's FY15 profit down in absence of one-off gain

Earnings fell at UOL Group for the year due to lower fair value gains for its investment properties and the absence of a one-off divestment gain.

Net profit for the 12 months to Dec 31 came in at $391.4 million, down 43 per cent from $686 million in 2014, the company announced yesterday.

Revenue was $1.28 billion, down 6 per cent from a year earlier due to the absence of one-time sales of $220.1 million from the Jalan Conlay land in Malaysia and $213.5 million recognised on a completed contract basis for The Esplanade in Tianjin.

Despite the depressed conditions in its key market of Singapore, UOL's ongoing core business continued to do well.

Deputy group chief executive Liam Wee Sin told a briefing yesterday that its property development and investment division "performed credibly" .

  • AT A GLANCE

  • NET PROFIT: $391.4 million (-43 per cent)

    REVENUE: $1.28 billion (-6 per cent)

    FINAL DIVIDEND: 15 cents a share (Unchanged)

Revenue from property investments rose 11 per cent to $219.4 million while turnover from property development slipped 15 per cent to $577.5 million.

Excluding the one-time gain from Jalan Conlay sales, revenue from property development surged 27 per cent, mainly from sales in Singapore projects Katong Regency, Seventy Saint Patrick's, Riverbank@Fernvale and Botanique at Bartley.

The company sold about 850 residential units here, worth over $900 million, during the year.

UOL's hotel business, its second-largest revenue generator after property development, fell 4 per cent to $419.4 million.

Hotel operations were affected by weak market conditions and refurbishment works at Pan Pacific Perth and Parkroyal Yangon.

The weakness in the Malaysian ringgit and the Australian dollar also put a drag on hotel revenue from those countries.

There was also an impairment charge of $3.2 million for Pan Pacific Tianjin and $37 million for Bishopsgate in London. These charges were partially offset by a write-back of $11.8 million for Parkroyal Melbourne Airport.

Earnings per share was 49.4 cents in 2015, down from 88 cents a year ago, while net asset value per share was $9.91 as at Dec 31, compared with $9.71 at the end of 2014.

UOL expects market conditions to remain challenging. Office and retail rentals are likely to continue to face pressure as new supply hits the market.

Mr Liam anticipates residential property sales to remain subdued.

UOL has proposed a first and final dividend of 15 cents per share.

The counter closed up 10 cents at $5.69 yesterday before its earnings were announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2016, with the headline 'UOL's FY15 profit down in absence of one-off gain'. Print Edition | Subscribe