UOL Group reports 2018 net profit dropped 51 percent on year-ago gain

UOL Group’s Kinex mall in GeylangUOL Group’s Kinex mall in Geylang

Singapore property developer and investor UOL Group reported on Tuesday its 2018 net profit fell 51 percent on-year to S$433.72 million due to a year-earlier one-off gain of S$535.6 million for consolidating United Industrial Corp. (UIC) results in 2017.

Excluding the gain, net profit would have risen 26 percent, it said in a filing to SGX after the market close on Tuesday.

Revenue for the year rose 13 percent to S$2.40 billion, mainly on the full-year consolidation of revenue, it said.

Property development revenue fell 15 percent on-year to S$989.3 million for 2018, mainly on the completion of the Alex Residences project in September 2017 and the Principal Garden project in December 2018, UOL said.

That was partly offset by the launch of the Amber45 project in May 2018 and higher revenue form the Clement Canopy and the Park Eleven projects, it added.

Property investment revenue rose 60 percent to S$541.0 million for the year after the consolidation of UIC’s investment properties and the 120 Holborn Island, while hotel ownership and operations, including UIC’s hotels, was up 29 percent on-year to S$687.7 million, UOL said.

It noted the increases were mainly due to the full-year consolidation of revenue in 2018, compared with just four months in 2017.

Dividend income was up 62 percent on-year at S$48.2 million as UOB paid higher dividends during year, it said.

Liam Wee Sin, group CEO, issued a mixed outlook.

“With the property cooling measures imposed last year, land prices will moderate and en bloc sales will have very limited traction,” he said, but noted that projects with strong differentiation, land-price advantage and locations with limited supply would likely see good takeup.

But he was more positive on the office sector.

“Singapore office rents are expected to appreciate further amid a tight supply. With the Group’s broadened office portfolio in the CBD, we are positioned to ride the continued wave of growth in the office market,” Liam said. CBD stands for central business district.

UOL also pointed to uncertainties in the London property market due to Brexit, but noted that office rentals in Midtown London were expected to hold up.

UOL proposed a dividend of 17.5 Singapore cents a share, unchanged from a year earlier.

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