SINGAPORE - Sing Investments & Finance has posted a 10.4 per cent increase in net profit to $12.66 million.
The increase was mainly due to higher total income.
The firm added that this was partially offset by higher operating expenses, and higher charges for allowances for impairment losses on loans and income tax expense.
Net interest income and hiring charges were up 8.4 per cent at $32.6 million for the year to Dec 31, "driven by a higher loan base".
However, operating expenses increased by 1.5 per cent due to higher business costs. The allowances for loan losses also increased 339.3 per cent, due to a lower write-back in individual impairment and additional collective allowance.
The firm said that the global economic environment this year is expected to remain challenging.
"Despite the recovery in the US economy, Europe and Japan are experiencing sluggish growth," it noted, adding that it "will continue to prudently grow our loan portfolio and effectively manage our operating costs".
Earnings per share rose to 8.03 cents from 7.27 cents previously, while net asset value per share rose to $1.99 as at Dec 31 last year, from $1.93 a year ago.
A final dividend of six cents a share was proposed, up from five cents a share for 2013.
Sing Investments & Finance shares closed up half a cent at $1.305 on Monday.