Thursday, April 28, 2011

Better gains by SingLand fail to lift UIC

Straits Times: Thu, Apr 28
INCREASED unit sales and a higher completion rate at its Trizon project nudged first-quarter net profit up 2 per cent at developer Singapore Land (SingLand).

Earnings for the three months to March 31 came in at $48.8 million while revenue climbed 29 per cent to $138.3 million.

Apart from higher sales, SingLand said better occupancy rates and food and beverage revenue from its Pan Pacific Singapore, Mandarin Oriental and Marina Mandarin hotels also helped lift earnings.

The group also increased its investments in associated companies, particularly in Shanghai Jin Peng Realty.

SingLand also spent $1.2 million upgrading investment properties during the first quarter.

Earnings per share rose 1.7 per cent from a revised 11.6 cents last year to 11.8 cents while net asset value per share moved up from $10 as of Dec 31 to $10.11.

SingLand shares ended eight cents higher at $7.18 yesterday.

But the developer's first-quarter results were unable to lift the bottom line of parent company United Industrial Corporation (UIC).

UIC's first quarter earnings fell 21 per cent, from $59.1 million to $46.9 million, while revenue slid 23 per cent to $195.5 million.

UIC said the lower numbers reflected the decline in sales following the completion of the One Amber, Grand Duchess and Tianjin Jun Long Square projects.

Although occupancy rates have improved, the company's rental income fell $1.3 million to $73 million. Revenue from its hotels gave a small boost in earnings, with contributions from Westin Tianjin hotel improving by $3.3 million to reach $4.3 million. Revenue from Pan Pacific Singapore climbed $3.1 million to $28.5 million.

Earnings per share fell from 4.3 cents to 3.4 cents while net asset value per share rose from $2.71 as of Dec 31 to $2.76 per share.

UIC remains upbeat about the months ahead. It said that while more new and secondary office space will come onstream, the office rental market is expected to improve.

It added that the retail leasing market is likely to remain stable, especially in the suburban malls.

UIC shares closed five cents lower at $2.81.

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