Wealth management fintech iFast Q4 profit climbs 46% to $2.6m

SINGAPORE -  Wealth management fintech iFast Corporation's fourth-quarter profit gained 46 per cent to $2.6 million for the three months ended Dec 31 from $1.8 million for the year-ago before, even as revenue fell, thanks to its operations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Earnings per share for the mainboard-listed firm stood at 0.98 cent for the quarter, up from 0.68 cent last year. iFast shares closed at $1.16 apiece on Tuesday, up 0.87 per cent, or one cent.

The group's China operations was loss making for the quarter, though it narrowed its loss slightly to $1.12 million, from a loss of $1.14 million for the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 0.7 per cent to $28.0 million from $28.2 million, on the back of rising US central bank interest rates, weaker Chinese growth, and the ongoing trade conflict between the US and China, iFast said.

The board has proposed a final dividend of 0.9 cent for the current financial period, subject to shareholders' approval at its annual general meeting to be convened on April 16. The proposed final dividend brings the total dividend to 3.15 cents per share for FY2018, 4.7 per cent higher than the total dividend of 3.01 cents per share for FY2017.

For the full year, net profit gained 41.7 per cent to $10.9 million, as revenue rose 19.8 per cent to $121.2 million. This translated to earnings per share of 4.10 cents, up from 2.92 cents last year.