Full-year profit down 37% at Lum Chang

Lum Chang says its $65 million acquisition of One Tree Hill Gardens - a collective sale - has been approved and the sale should be completed by November. Landed homes have been planned for the site.
Lum Chang says its $65 million acquisition of One Tree Hill Gardens - a collective sale - has been approved and the sale should be completed by November. Landed homes have been planned for the site.PHOTO: KNIGHT FRANK

Industry dragged by slowdown in private-sector activities

Losses from joint ventures have sent full-year earnings plunging at property company Lum Chang Holdings.

Net profit fell 37 per cent to $18.7 million for the 12 months to June 30 while revenue came in at $369 million, down 13 per cent.

This stemmed from reduced turnover from two Malaysian developments and completed construction projects.

The pain also came from joint ventures, where losses ballooned to $1.1 million from just $10,000 in the previous year.

The group attributed this decline to a "proportionate share of losses" from a Singapore-based joint venture company that owns a leasehold property.

Other costs included a $700,000 rise in finance expenses to $5.7 million, mainly due to an increase in bond interest expense, and translation losses of $3.1 million on British investment properties as the pound lost its value.

Earnings per share dropped to 4.91 cents, from 7.73 cents a year earlier, while net asset value ticked up to 57.91 cents a share, against 55.75 cents earlier.

  • AT A GLANCE

    REVENUE: $369 million

    (-13 per cent)

    NET PROFIT: $18.7 million

    (-37 per cent)

    DIVIDEND: 1.2 cents a share

    (-4 per cent)

A final dividend of 1.2 cents an ordinary share was proposed, a dip from the 1.25 cents paid out last year.

Lum Chang noted that the construction sector has been "weighed down by a slowdown in private-sector construction activities".

With outstanding construction projects worth $514.3 million still under way, the group said that it "continues to exercise vigilance" to keep its cost structure tight, "while exploring viable business opportunities and pursuing construction projects on a selective basis".

It also said that construction will soon begin on the mixed-use redevelopment of 2, Serangoon Road, formerly known as The Verge, with a slated deadline of late 2019.

The group has a 50 per cent stake in the property, after last year closing a $273 million deal to acquire the mall in a joint venture with a closed-end fund of LaSalle Investment Management Asia.

The purchase of the One Tree Hill Gardens site has also been approved and the sale should be completed by November, Lum Chang said.

It offered $65 million for thesite in May - this year's first collective sale - at a land rate of $1,664 per sq ft. Landed homes will be built on the site.

Lum Chang shares closed half a cent higher, or 1.4 per cent, at 35.5 cents, before results were announced yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2017, with the headline 'Full-year profit down 37% at Lum Chang'. Print Edition | Subscribe