Published May 15, 2009

Soilbuild posts three-fold rise in Q1 earnings


SOILBUILD Group yesterday reported net profit attributable to shareholders of $19.11 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009 - more than three times the $6.21 million it earned a year earlier.

The Mezzo: Soilbuild may launch the second phase of the Balestier project this weekend

Revenue jumped 104 per cent to $64.7 million. Property development provided a strong boost, with $61.45 million recognised from business space factories and four residential projects. This was more than twice the amount recognised in Q1 last year.

Property rental revenue grew 38 per cent from a year ago to $3.1 million. There were contributions from two new business space properties, and higher contributions from existing investment properties.

Soilbuild also benefited from gains totalling $8.3 million, which included a fair value gain from the revaluation of a logistics centre.

The group had borrowings of $186.96 million due in one year or less as at March 31. Cash and cash equivalents totalled $30.22 million.

'We will continue to focus on growing a steady recurrent income stream from business space leasing and developing well-sited residential projects,' said executive director Low Soon Sim.

Soilbuild will also monitor market sentiment to 'tap windows of opportunity to launch new projects'.

It recently released 40 units at its 127-unit development in Balestier, The Mezzo. Response to the first phase was 'encouraging', it said.

More than 30 units are believed have been sold. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority website yesterday, 17 units sold in March fetched a median price of $929 psf.

BT understands Soilbuild could launch the second phase of Mezzo this weekend.

The group expects to stay profitable this year with progressive revenue recognition from residential units sold and higher rental contributions from leased business space.

Soilbuild's shares closed unchanged yesterday at 62 cents.