Supermarket group Sheng Siong posted a 7.4 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to $18.42 million for the second quarter ended June 30.
Revenue was up 11.8 per cent to $238.16 million after it opened 13 new stores, while earnings per share for the quarter clocked 1.23 cents, rising from 1.14 cents a year ago.
The group declared an interim dividend of 1.75 cents per share, payable on Aug 27. This is up from the dividend of 1.65 cents a year ago.
For the six months, net profit increased 6.6 per cent year on year to $37.78 million, due to higher revenue, slightly improved gross margins and higher other income. Meanwhile, revenue was 11 per cent higher at $489.59 million.
Sheng Siong warned that competition in the supermarket industry is expected to remain stiff, stemming from both brick-and-mortar stores as well as online retailers, while local consumer demand could be dented by the economic outlook.
While Ascendas Reit got a boost from newly acquired properties and a different accounting standard for property operating expenses in its first quarter, the business space and industrial landlord also faced an enlarged unit base.
The latter factor led distribution per unit (DPU) to rise just marginally to 4.005 cents from 4.002 cents year on year, though first-quarter total amount available for distribution grew 6.3 per cent to $124.7 million.
Gross revenue in its first quarter ended June 30 rose 6.1 per cent to $229.7 million from the previous year, lifted mostly by new acquisitions in the United Kingdom and Australia during the previous financial year.
Net property income (NPI) grew 11.5 per cent to $177.5 million from the year-ago period, as land rent of $8.2 million was excluded from property operating expenses, following the adoption of new financial reporting standards. Excluding the effects from that switch in standards, NPI would have risen by 6.3 per cent year on year.
Finance costs also rose 40.9 per cent to $41 million, while foreign exchange loss narrowed by 63.9 per cent to $7.7 million. Net change in fair value of financial derivatives rose by 72.5 per cent to $26.4 million.
As at June 30, Ascendas Reit's investment properties under management totalled $11.1 billion, comprising 98 properties in Singapore, 35 properties in Australia and 38 properties in the United Kingdom.