First Sponsor sees 8.8% rise in Q2 profit

SINGAPORE - First Sponsor Group reported an 8.8 per cent increase in net profit to S$9.4 million for the second quarter ended June 30 from S$8.6 million in the year-ago period.

The developer and owner of commercial properties in China and the Netherlands saw revenue swell 27.7 per cent year-on-year to S$53.9 million from S$42.2 million previously.

For the first half of the year, net profit was up 13.3 per cent to S$23.6 million as revenue surged 54.1 per cent to S$135.3 million.

An interim dividend of 1 Singapore cent per share, unchanged from last year, will be payable on Sept 20.

Giving an update on its Millennium Waterfront project in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province, the company said that more than 99 per cent of the aggregate 7,302 residential units have been sold despite the continued government property cooling measures.

"The group will carefully assess the development feasibility of the remaining phase of the project (Plot E and F) in view of the current market conditions," it said.

First Capital said the performance of its newly opened Holiday Inn Express Chengdu Wenjiang Hotspring Hotel has also been encouraging. The hotel registered a gross operating profit for the past two quarters even though it began operating only on Dec 28, 2016. It added it is working to turn around the Crowne Plaza Chengdu Wenjiang hotel.

In the Netherlands, the group is in an advanced stage of discussion with an investor for the sale of a residential apartment block to be built next to the Dreeftoren office on a forward funding basis. The project is subject to the application for re-zoning and building permit with the Amsterdam Southeast municipal.

On the acquisition front, the group on July 12 completed the purchase of a newly built bare shell hotel property in the Poortgebouw Hoog Catharijne, located next to the Utrecht central railway station. It will be working together with the lessee, for which an initial lease term of 25 years has been signed, to refurbish the property into two hotels, a Hampton by Hilton and a Crowne Plaza, which are expected to be completed and operational in late 2018.