More loan assets, deposits and savings accounts helped lift full-year earnings at finance company Sing Investments & Finance.
Net profit rose 1.2 per cent to $12.8 million for the 12 months to Dec 31 compared with the same period a year ago, said the firm yesterday.
Net interest income and hiring charges came in 8 per cent higher at $35.2 million on the back of a 16.5 per cent increase in net loan assets, which grew to $1.97 billion.
The firm said: "In tandem with the increase in loan assets, deposits and savings accounts of customers increased by 20.4 per cent to $2.31 billion as at Dec 31, 2015."
The firm added that the rise in net loan assets was partly offset by a surge of 48.8 per cent in interest expense from a higher deposit base and rates.
Other income also rose by 11.3 per cent, while operating expenses inched up 1.1 per cent, as higher staff cost was incurred to support greater business activity.
AT A GLANCE
$12.8 million (+1.2%)
NET INTEREST INCOME AND HIRING CHARGES
$35.2 million (+8%)
DIVIDEND PER SHARE
5 cents (-16.7%)
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The firm noted that profit from operations, before impairment losses, increased 18 per cent compared with a year ago.
However, it added that "the increase was substantially offset by a 217.5 per cent increase in allowances for impairment losses made", resulting in the marginal increase of 1.2 per cent in net profit.
Earnings per share rose to 8.13 cents from 8.03 cents previously, while net asset value per share was down one cent to $1.98.
A first and final dividend of five cents a share was proposed, down one cent from a year ago.
Sing Investments noted there was a decline in the fair value of its financial assets - those that are available for sale - under the category called "other comprehensive income". It said this was mainly from revaluation of Singapore Government Securities, and the drop in value was owing to interest rate hikes.
The group buys those securities as part of its liquid assets, to maintain the minimum liquid assets required under the Finance Companies Act.
Sing Investments said: "Given the challenging growth outlook and the continual impact of the property cooling measures and car financing restrictions, we expect the business environment to be increasingly challenging and competitive."