UOL's earnings climb 59% to S$109.4m

UOL's hospitality business remained flat in the quarter, with revenue down to S$105.6 million

Contributions from the Principal Garden condominium project boosted UOL's earnings. UOL

Property firm UOL reported stellar results for the past quarter, with its net profit soaring 59 percent to S$109.4 million thanks to the strong contributions from its Principal Garden condominium in Singapore.

The strong bottom line came after the group posted 10% growth in revenue. UOL's property development segment recorded a 19 percent increase to S$221.2 million. UOL's Botanique at Bartley and Riverbank@Fernvale also contributed strongly, leading to the improvement in both headline and net profit.

Meanwhile, the group's investment properties revenue edged up two percent to S$56.4 million. This included rental income from 110 High Holborn in midtown London which UOL acquired last year.

On the other hand, UOL's hospitality business remained flat in the quarter, with revenue down to S$105.6 million.

The share of profit from its associated companies excluding fair value losses rose 27 percent to S$42.0 million, mainly from associated company United Industrial Corporation (UIC) which registered higher profit recognition from its development properties.

However, profit shares from joint venture companies fell 34 percent to S$3.3 million as no contribution was yet to be recorded from Thomson Three. The Clement Canopy project offset the decrease.

During the past quarter, the group incurred more expenses, reaching S$63.8 million due to the two percent uptick in marketing and distribution, 22 percent increase in finance expense.

UOL Deputy Chief Executive Officer Liam Wee Sin said the group's hospitality and investment businesses have performed creditably despite challenging conditions.

"The recent acquisition of a hotel in Melbourne, which is branded as Pan Pacific Melbourne will further strengthen our presence in Australia and our recurring income. The retail sector is still the most challenging due to the increasing pace and magnitude of disruption by e-commerce and other new platforms," he said in a statement.

He noted that on the residential segment, the group's concern is a possible disconnect between the recent land tender prices and achievable end-sale prices.

"Transaction volume in the residential sector has risen steadily but a sustainable recovery in end-sale prices will depend on the dynamics of the economy, supply-demand and the rental market," he explained.