OUE Q3 profit soars to $124.1m on one-off gain from OUE C-Reit, OUE H-Trust merger

SINGAPORE - OUE Limited's third-quarter net profit surged to $124.1 million, almost 60 times that of the $2.1 million net profit for the year-ago period due to higher earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) and a one-off non-cash gain of $90.9 million arising from the merger of OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (OUE C-Reit) and OUE Hospitality Trust (OUE H-Trust).

For the quarter ended Sept 30, earnings per share was 13.77 cents versus 0.23 cent.

Revenue jumped 54.1 per cent to $282.5 million from $183.3 million due to higher contributions led by the development properties division, which recorded $133.9 million in revenue versus $43.6 million a year ago. The increase was mainly due to revenue recognised on the sale of a property at 26A Nassim Road, with the gain partially offset by lower revenue recognised on the sale of the OUE Twin Peaks units sold under deferred payment schemes, said OUE.

No dividend was declared for Q3, same as the previous year.

Ebit was up 59.7 per cent to $90.4 million from $56.6 million a year ago, mainly due to a higher contribution from equity-accounted investees, partially offset by merger-related expenses and the inclusion of OUE H-Trust's administrative expenses.

The one-off non-cash gain was recognised as a result of the merger due to the derecognition of right-of-use assets, lease liabilities and other liabilities related to Mandarin Orchard Singapore and Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. These properties were previously recognised when OUE H-Trust was an associate of the group.

The good class bungalow at 26A Nassim Road was sold for $95 million on Aug 14, 10.1 per cent higher than the average market value of the property, said OUE.

On Sept 18, the group disposed its serviced apartments at OUE Downtown, along with the plant and equipment and the related serviced apartments business sale, for $289 million.

"The divestment is a timely initiative and will enable the group to fund business plans with higher-growth opportunities that will enhance shareholder value," said OUE.

OUE Limited shares closed unchanged at $1.46 on Thursday.