SINGAPORE - United Industrial Corp (UIC) posted near flat earnings of S$59.8 million for the first quarter.
This was despite a 31 per cent jump in revenue for the three months to March 31 to S$264.5 million. The gain was mainly due to higher sales recognition from trading properties.
Revenue recognised from the sales of trading properties soared by 81 per cent to S$127.3 million, mainly due to higher progressive revenue recognition for the group's residential projects, particularly, from V on Shenton and Alex Residences.
Revenue from information technology operations increased by 17 per cent to S$27.6 million while revenue from hotel operations inched up 3 per cent to S$37.3 million.
Gross rental income from investment properties remained stable at S$69 million compared to S$68.7 million in the same period last year.
Profit before share of results of associated companies and joint ventures recorded S$70.5 million, which was higher than last year by S$1.5 million or 2 per cent.
The increase in profitability is achieved despite the Additional Buyer Stamp Duty payment on Mon Jervois of S$14.8 million in February 2017.
Earnings per share were unchanged at 4.2 cents while net asset value per share firmed to S$4.43 compared to S$4.39 as at Dec 31.
Looking ahead, UIC noted that a steady take-up rate of office and retail spaces has trimmed oversupply and should ease pressure on rentals.
"The improving sentiments and increased number of high bidders for recent residential land sale are expected to raise buying interest and confidence in this sector," it added.
However, the hotel sector will remain competitive with increased new hotel room supply.
UIC shares ended unchanged at S$3.16.