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Thread: UOL reports 14% rise in Q3 earnings

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    Default UOL reports 14% rise in Q3 earnings

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...04352,00.html?

    Published November 6, 2008

    UOL reports 14% rise in Q3 earnings

    Revenue jumps 61% to $268m; subsidiary Hotel Plaza's Q3 net down 4% to $13.5m

    By UMA SHANKARI


    BUCKING the trend of falling profits at many Singapore-listed property developers, UOL Group yesterday reported that its third-quarter net profit rose 14 per cent to $73.5 million, from $64.5 million a year ago.

    Group revenue for the third quarter ended Sept 30 jumped 61 per cent to $267.9 million - up from $166.7 million for the corresponding three months of 2007.

    The increase was largely from the progressive recognition of revenues from the sale of homes, including those in Panorama and Breeze by the East which were launched earlier this year.

    Revenue from property investments also improved due to higher average rental rates for the company's investment properties and contribution from the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, which opened in April 2008. Since its opening, the five-star serviced suites had improved its occupancy to almost 85 per cent.

    Earnings per share for Q3 2008 rose to 9.24 cents, from 8.11 cents a year ago.

    For the first nine months of 2008, UOL's net profit fell 39 per cent to $261.4 million - from $426.8 million in 2007 - mainly due to lower fair-value gain on investment properties and absence of gain on sale of an investment property. Revenue for the first three quarters rose 24 per cent to $638.9 million, from $514.1 million for the same period in 2007.

    UOL sounded a warning as it looked ahead. The tightening of credit and the weak share market will affect buying sentiment in the Singapore residential property market, UOL said.

    Demand for office space will also be affected as companies scale down their activities and rental rates are expected to soften, the company added.

    Separately, UOL's listed subsidiary Hotel Plaza said that its net profit decreased marginally by 4 per cent to $13.5 million, from Q3 2007's $14.1 million, as the company was hit by higher operating expenses, among other things.

    Hotel Plaza's Q3 revenue rose slightly by 2 per cent to $77.7 million from $76.3 million for the year-ago period. The increase was due largely to better performance from the company's Singapore hotels but was offset by the weaker performance of hotels in Malaysia and China.

    Earnings per share fell to 2.25 cents, from 3.52 cents a year ago.

    For the nine months ended Sept 30, Hotel Plaza's net profit rose 10 per cent to $44.3 million, from $40.2 million a year ago. Revenue rose 11 per cent to $234.3 million, from $211.7 million in 2007.

    Hotel Plaza expects revenue for its hotels in Singapore and the region to decline in future. 'The slowing global economy will likely lead to a decline in business and leisure travel which will in turn affect the hotel industry in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region,' the company said.

    UOL gained two cents to close at $1.92 yesterday. Hotel Plaza gained one cent to close at $1.30.

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    Default UOL surprises with 14% profit gain

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Money/St...ry_298938.html

    November 6, 2008 Thursday

    UOL surprises with 14% profit gain

    By Robin Chan


    PROPERTY group UOL defied the gloom by posting surprisingly good third-quarter results yesterday, thanks to higher revenue from new launches.

    Net profit for the third quarter rose 14 per cent to $73.5 million while revenue jumped 61 per cent to $267.9 million.

    The launches of Panorama in Kuala Lumpur and Breeze by the East here earlier this year and Duchess Residences last year were the key drivers of the robust result.

    They helped lift revenue from the property development segment by 229 per cent to $136.9 million - more than half of total revenue for the three months to Sept 30.

    Revenue from property investments also improved 27 per cent. This was due largely to higher average rental rates at retail and office spaces in Novena Square, United Square and Odeon Towers, and the opening of the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites in April.

    The share of profit of associated companies also gained 84 per cent to $15.1million for the quarter with the launches of One North Residences and Nassim Park Residences.

    Earnings per share rose from 8.11 cents to 9.24 cents, while net asset value per share was $4.84 as at Sept 30, down from $4.96 as at Dec 31 last year.

    For the nine months, revenue increased 24 per cent to $638.9 million but net profit fell 39 per cent to $261.4 million.

    UOL's listed subsidiary Hotel Plaza posted a modest 2 per cent revenue rise for the third quarter to $77.7 million as gains from the group's Singapore hotels were offset by weaker performance from hotels in Malaysia and China.

    Net profit for the quarter fell 4 per cent to $13.5 million. For the nine months, revenue rose 11 per cent to $243.3 million and net profit advanced 10 per cent to $44.3 million.

    Despite UOL's surprising results, the global financial crisis and a weakening external environment will likely affect the property market.

    UOL said that with the tightening of credit and a weak stock market, buyer sentiment in the residential property market here would be hit.

    With firms looking to scale down their activities, demand for office space will also be affected and rental rates are likely to weaken.

    The slowing global economy will also hit the hotel industry here and across the Asia-Pacific region as business and leisure travellers cut down on trips.

    Hotel Plaza expects its hotel revenue to decline.

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