Operating losses at Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) widened in the first quarter, with spending climbing faster than turnover could grow.
Its share of results from associates and joint ventures helped to save the day, unaudited results out yesterday showed.
Keppel T&T posted a net profit of $9.43 million for the three months to March 31, a drop of 16.3 per cent from the previous year.
The decline came even as revenue rose 5.1 per cent to $42.81 million, with higher facility and project management fees feeding income at the company's data centre division.
The logistics segment, which accounts for the lion's share of company revenue, found itself hit by a double whammy of lower revenue and higher expenses.
Its turnover suffered from lower container throughput in its operations in China - partly offset by warehousing and channel management in South-east Asia - even as the division recorded higher overheads from its new channel management business.
A strategic review of the China logistics portfolio is on, with the division also tackling cost optimisation.
Meanwhile, Keppel T&T's other two business segments - data centres and investments - stayed profitable for the quarter. But headcount rose in both the logistics and data centre divisions, driving up staff costs.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE:$42.8 million (+5.1%)NET PROFIT:$9.4 million (-16.3%)
The company said in its results announcement that the increase in data centre manpower was "to support new business developments".
Earnings per share were 1.7 cents, down from two cents the year before, while net asset value ticked up to $1.53 a share, against $1.52 as of Dec 31, 2017.
The counter shed one cent, or 0.63 per cent, to $1.57, before the results were released.