Asset disposals turbo-charged the numbers at Metro Holdings in the third quarter, it reported yesterday.
Net profit shot up 615 per cent to $146.61 million in the three months to Dec 31, from $20.49 million a year earlier.
Revenue increased 5.4 per cent to $39.3 million on the back of improvements in turnover from the property and retail segments.
The markedly improved earnings were due to the disposal of eight property projects by associate Top Spring International Holdings and Metro's recent sale of its 30 per cent interest in Nanchang Fashion Mark.
There was also an improvement in fair value of short-term investment to an unrealised fair-value gain in the quarter. This was a turnaround from an unrealised fair-value loss in the same period a year earlier.
Earnings per ordinary share were 17.7 cents, well up on the 2.5 cents from a year earlier, while net asset value per share was $1.77, compared with $1.63 as of March 31 last year.
The average occupancy rate for Metro's three investment properties in Guangzhou and Shanghai held steady at 92.7 per cent. Metro City Shanghai reported improved results with higher rental income with the completion of certain renovation work.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: $39.3 million (+5.4%)
NET PROFIT: $146.6 million (+615.5%)
Rental income of the GIE Tower investment property, as well as those held by Metro's joint ventures, Metro City and Metro Tower in Shanghai, is expected to remain steady.
Construction work continues on the 571 apartment units of the Middlewood Locks development project in Britain. This is expected to be completed in stages over spring and summer this year.
The mixed development will provide 2,215 new homes and 750,000 sq ft of commercial space.
Following Metro's recent tie-up with the Trans Corpora Group and Lee Kim Tah Group for a mixed-use development in Bekasi, Jakarta, it has entered into a second joint venture with the Lee Kim Tah Group in Britain to jointly acquire a freehold office property in central London.
The building, which is fully leased to 2023, was acquired for £80.75 million (S$148.3 million).
In China, Metro has commenced pre-leasing activities for its three recently acquired office buildings in Bay Valley.
Metro shares closed unchanged at $1.11 yesterday.