Ho Bee Land reports 4Q18 net profit fell 21 percent amid drop in development sales

Singapore two-dollar bills

Ho Bee Land reported on Monday that its fourth quarter net profit fell 20.9 percent on-year to S$81.28 million amid a drop in development sales revenue.

Chua Thian Poh, chairman and CEO, said the results were good, despite “challenging market conditions,” with the Singapore and U.K. investment properties delivering strong rental income.

Revenue for the quarter ended 31 December rose 27.4 percent on-year to S$52.46 million, it said in a filing to SGX after the market close on Monday.

Rental income for the quarter jumped 36.7 percent on-year to S$51.54 million, largely on a full-quarter contribution from Ropemaker Place, in London, which was acquired in June, Ho Bee said.

“The increase in rental revenue was partially offset by lower sales recognition from two residential projects in Melbourne and Gold Coast in Australia,” it added, with revenue from the sale of development properties dropping 73.6 percent on-year to S$915,000 in the quarter.

For the full year, Ho Bee Land reported net profit rose 7.9 percent on-year to S$270.47 million, on revenue of S$196.85 million, up 19.5 percent on-year.

It proposed a final dividend of 8 Singapore cents a share and a special dividend of 2 Singapore cents a share, unchanged from a year earlier.

Ho Bee issued a cautious outlook.

“Our portfolio of commercial properties in Singapore and the U.K. will continue to provide stable recurring income in the coming year. Notwithstanding, the group is aware of the headwinds arising from the threat of a full-blown U.S.-China trade war and Brexit,” it said.

Within Singapore, it pointed to a positive outlook for the office market amid stable demand and tighter supply, but it noted residential property’s outlook was challenging amid a large supply pipeline and fresh cooling measures introduced by the government in July.

In the U.K., Ho Bee said it expected the long average tenancies of more than five years at its properties would help to cushion any Brexit uncertainties.

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