Earnings at developer CapitaLand dipped in the first quarter despite a rise in turnover due to the absence of a one-off gain.
Net profit fell 18.8 per cent to $319.09 million for the three months to March 31.
Excluding the gain from the sale of The Nassim in the first quarter of last year, operating net profit would have increased by 25 per cent to $228.7 million on the back of more development profits in Singapore and higher rental income from malls and offices in Japan and China, said CapitaLand.
Revenue expanded 53.3 per cent to $1.38 billion due to higher contributions from development projects in Singapore and China, rental revenue from newly acquired and opened properties, and the consolidation of revenue from CapitaLand Mall Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust and RCS Trust.
President and chief executive Lim Ming Yan said the group is on track to achieve its annual $3 billion capital recycling target while it explores investment opportunities across asset classes.
The firm divested 20 retail assets in China in the first quarter, he said in a statement.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: $1.38 billion (+53.3%)
NET PROFIT: $319.1 million (-18.8%)
It then proposed to acquire Pearl Bank Apartments in Singapore, and a site for its first integrated development in Vietnam.
"We also successfully set up our second commercial fund in the country, the US$130 million CapitaLand Vietnam Commercial Value-Added Fund, as part of growing our fee-based business," added Mr Lim.
CapitaLand forecasts that the Singapore residential property market sentiment will improve further this year, underpinned by overall positive economic performance and higher transaction volumes.
"We expect overall sales of new homes to improve, with developers launching more projects in 2018," the company said.
It is "cautiously optimistic" on the China residential property market, where cooling measures by the government in Tier 1 and 2 cities are expected to restrict growth in home prices.
CapitaLand has over 8,000 units valued at 15.1 billion yuan (S$3.2 billion) that have been sold but not yet handed over as of March 31. It also expects to have 5,000 launch-ready units for the remainder of this year.
CapitaLand shares rose one cent to $3.76 before the results announcement.
Correction note: This story has been edited for clarity.