UOL Group, which is launching its freehold residential project Amber45 this weekend at an average price of above $2,200 per square foot, said its net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 fell 8 per cent to $73.82 million.
Net profit would have been higher if not for the $7.6 million amortisation and depreciation of fair value uplifts in respect of the consolidation of United Industrial Corporation (UIC) as a subsidiary from Sept 1 last year, it added.
Pan Pacific Orchard also took a $6.6 million accelerated depreciation charge following the decision to cease operations in the second quarter for redevelopment.
Group revenue surged 89 per cent to $661 million on higher contributions from its three core business segments - property development, property investments, and hotel operations.
The consolidation of UIC group and the associated and joint-venture companies of UOL Group and UIC Group added $316.2 million to UOL's top line during the first three months of the financial year.
Excluding the effects of the UIC consolidation, revenue from property development fell 7 per cent or $12.1 million with the completion of Riverbank@Fernvale in March last year, while hotel ownership and operations improved 9 per cent or $9 million, due mainly to the maiden contribution from Pan Pacific Melbourne, acquired last July. Property investments fell 4 per cent or $2.3 million as a result of lower contribution from OneKM mall.
As of yesterday, UOL's interest in UIC crept up to 49.85 per cent after the purchase of 60,300 shares in the open market at around $3.25.
AT A GLANCE
$661 million (+89%)
$73.8 million (-8%)
UOL said group expenses rose 67 per cent to $104 million following the UIC consolidation and higher borrowings to construct One Bishopsgate Plaza in London and acquire Pan Pacific Melbourne.
Marketing and distribution expenses rose 34 per cent to $21.4 million, while administrative expenses increased 55 per cent to $30.1 million; finance expenses and other operating expenses jumped 52 per cent and 114 per cent to $12.2 million and $40.2 million respectively.
UOL noted that prices of private residential properties here are trending up, and office rents could continue their upward momentum on steady demand and falling supply. Retail rents, however, could remain under pressure from e-commerce.
The 139 units at Amber45, a freehold project in East Coast on a site acquired by private treaty from a single owner, have guide prices starting from $1.45 million for a two-bedroom unit of 614 sq ft, $2.5 million for a three-bedroom unit of 1,130 sq ft, and $3 million for a four-bedroom unit of 1,346 sq ft.
Shares of UOL closed 1.4 per cent higher at $8.72 yesterday.