Keppel first half profit up 65.9% to $497.5m; higher dividend declared

Net profit from continuing operations rose 26.4 per cent to $434.1 million from $343.5 million in the year-ago period. PHOTO: BT FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Keppel Corporation on Thursday (Jul 28) posted a headline net profit of $497.5 million for the first half of the year ended June, up 65.9 per cent from its earnings of $299.8 million in the corresponding year-ago period.

The group said this was underpinned by profitability across all its segments, including the discontinued offshore and marine operations.

On a per-share basis, this translated to earnings of 27.9 cents per share, up 69.1 per cent year on year.

Net profit from continuing operations rose 26.4 per cent to $434.1 million from $343.5 million in the year-ago period. Net profit from discontinued operations came in at $63.4 million, reversing from a loss of $43.8 million.

The improved earnings for the period translated into a sweeter dividend payout for shareholders.

A higher interim dividend of 15 cents per share was declared for the first half of this year, up 25 per cent from the interim dividend of 12 cents last year. The interim dividend will be paid out to shareholders on Aug 19.

Revenue for the first half rose 16.2 per cent to $3.4 billion, about 16.2 per cent higher than revenue of $2.9 billion in the year-ago period, on the back of a significant increase in contributions from the group's energy and environment and asset management segments. These more than offset a decline in the urban development segment's revenue.

For the period under review, Keppel achieved an annualised return on equity of 8.4 per cent, versus 5.5 per cent in the same period last year.

The group has also monetised more than $3.6 billion in assets since the asset monetisation programme began in October 2020, including the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant, which is being monetised through Keppel Infrastructure Trust.

Keppel chief executive Loh Chin Hua said: "Keppel has delivered a set of strong results in the first half of 2022 against a challenging global economic landscape. In an extended inflationary environment, demand for real assets with cash flow, such as those which Keppel develops, operates and manages, will continue to grow, auguring well for the group."

Keppel said the themes of climate action and energy transition are expected to gather pace. The group is expecting energy security considerations to drive demand for sustainable energy infrastructure, and said sustainability-related solutions will be a "major growth sector".

Shares of Keppel ended Thursday at $6.77, up 1.5 per cent.

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