Singapore Companies
Published February 17, 2007

UOL 2006 net profit more than triples to $339m

Higher income from hotel ops, property developments


PROPERTY group UOL Group yesterday said that net profit for its 2006 financial year more than tripled to $339.4 million from $100.1 million a year ago.

'In 2006, the group benefited from higher income from property developments and improved performance by its hotel operations,' said UOL in a statement to the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

The group's financials were also boosted by exceptional items, with recorded gains of $232.8 million from disposals of a subsidiary and an associate company. The company declared a dividend of 15 cents per ordinary share - comprising a first and final dividend of 7.5 cents a share and a special dividend of 7.5 cents a share.

For 2007, UOL remains upbeat. 'The private residential market is expected to remain buoyant, underpinned by a high level of buying interest especially in the high-end segment,' said the company. 'Occupancy and rental rates for office space could improve further, given the limited new supply while rentals for retail space should benefit from continued economic growth.'

This year's improved earnings came on the back of better revenue performance for the year ended Dec 31, 2006. Group revenue rose 20 per cent to $605.1 million, from $505.5 million in 2005.

The increase in revenue came largely from progressive recognition of revenues from the company's sale of units in Twin Regency, Regency Suites and Newton Suites. UOL also said that revenue from hotel operations was higher with the inclusion of revenue from the newly acquired Negara on Claymore and the full-year revenue from the Sofitel Plaza Xiamen Hotel.

However, rental from the company's property investments declined marginally, largely affected by extension works carried out to the shopping mall at Novena Square.

Separately, Hotel Plaza yesterday reported that net profit for the full year ended Dec 31, 2006 rose 238 per cent to a record $114.2 million, from $33.8 million in the previous year - despite just a marginal 4 per cent increase in revenue to $287.3 million.

Earnings were boosted by an exceptional gain of $86.7 million from the sale of wholly owned subsidiary Hotel Grand Plaza (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

The company declared a dividend of 40 cents per ordinary share for 2006 - made up of a first and final dividend of 5 cents a share and a special dividend of 35 cents a share.

UOL's shares fell 14 cents to close at $4.82 yesterday, while the shares of Hotel Plaza climbed two cents to end at $1.80.