Hiap Hoe reports sharp rise in earnings

SINGAPORE - Developer Hiap Hoe posted healthier results for the first quarter on Monday, but this was mostly the result of a privatisation of its sports and leisure arm SuperBowl Holdings.

Earnings for the three month period ended Mar 31 was $354.2 million,well up on the $10.2 million recorded a year ago.

Gross profit also increased 22.5 per cent to $17.1 million, up from $14 million in the same period.

Revenue was up $31.2 million, up 2.8 per cent from $30.3 million in the same period. This was mainly due to its investment properties in Australia, its hotel operations and the consolidation of a one-month income from SuperBowl Holdings, said Hiap Hoe.

The firm owns 97.8 per cent of the issued and paid-up capital of SuperBowl.

However, sales from its development properties was $22 million in the first quarter, dipping from $30.3 million a year ago.

Its hotel business generated $3.3 million, accounting for 10.5 per cent of its revenue, while it collected $1 million - or 3.1 per cent of revenue - from its leisure business.

"We are encouraged by the group's first quarter performance notwithstanding the lacklustre property market in Singapore," said Mr Teo Ho Beng, executive chairman and chief executive of Hiap Hoe.

"Our first quarter performance also demonstrates the initial results of our strategy to reduce earnings volatility and grow a healthy recurring income stream."

In February, the firm had bought a commercial building in Perth for A$90 million, extending its presence beyond Singapore and Melbourne.

Earnings per share was 75.28 cents, up from 2.16 cents in the same period, while net asset value was 155.64 cents as at Mar 31, up from 79.59 cents as at Dec 31.