Low Keng Huat Q4 profit drops 34% to $3.5m

SINGAPORE - Low Keng Huat (Singapore) posted a 34 per cent fall in fourth-quarter net profit to $3.5 million from $5.3 million a year ago, mainly due to lower profit from property development and investment, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday night (April 1).

Revenue for the three months ended Jan 31, 2019, sank 69 per cent to $8.9 million from $28.6 million the previous year.

Earnings per share (EPS) stood at 0.47 cent per share, down from 0.71 cent a year ago.

The company is proposing a first and final dividend of 1.5 cents per share, down from two cents a year ago. The date payable will be June 20, subject to shareholder approval at an annual general meeting to be held on May 29.

Shares of the company last traded at $0.545 on March 29, down 1.5 cents.

For the full year, the group's net profit dropped 13 per cent to $15.4 million from $17.8 million a year ago, despite a more than doubling of revenue to $171.4 million from $72.7 million the year before.

This came as cost of sales increased by $95.4 million to U$138.3 million from $42.9 million the previous year. The company said the increase was mainly due to higher sales of development properties, with Kismis Residences & Tranquilia @ Kismis being fullysold during the year. There was also a higher write back of construction project cost accrual upon the finalisation of accounts in the previous year, it added.

Full-year EPS stood at 2.09 cents from 2.40 cents the year before. The group's net asset value per share came to 89 cents, down one cent from 90 cents the year before.

In terms of outlook, the group said the residential property market has been more subdued since the recent tightening of property cooling measures. It added it would continue to be selective in land bidding and investment projects and strive to maintain rental rates for renewals.

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