October 29, 2009 Thursday

Wing Tai's first-quarter profit up 42%

THE residential property boom and the robust sales it has delivered gave Wing Tai Holdings plenty to cheer about in the first quarter of its financial year.

Profit and turnover posted healthy growth as buyers snapped up more homes developed by Wing Tai in the three months to Sept 30 than in the whole of last year.

Net profit jumped 42 per cent to $46.33 million, up from $32.59 million the same quarter last year, while revenue surged 106 per cent to $277.18 million, up from $134.3 million.

The group sold about 300 units, with sale proceeds totalling around $650 million from three projects - Belle Vue Residences in Oxley Walk, Ascentia Sky off Alexandra Road and The Floridian in Bukit Timah. Progressive sales were also recognised from The Riverine by the Park.

This compares with sales of 100 residential units worth $208.5 million for the 12 months to June 30, the end of its financial year.

Some developments were also commanding higher prices. In August, the firm noted that the selling price for units in the upmarket Belle Vue Residences rose from an average of $1,700 per sq ft (psf) to $1,900 psf, with some units being sold for as high as $2,400 psf.

The group told the Singapore Exchange yesterday that it 'will continue to keep a close watch on the market and will release more residential units for sale at the most appropriate time'.

Earnings per share was 5.96 cents, up from 4.13 cents in the first quarter last year, while net asset value per share stood at $2.07 as at Sept 30, up from $2.03 at June 30.

Wing Tai's share price fell three cents to $1.64 ahead of the earnings announcement yesterday.

The stock is up 97.6 per cent this year compared with the 50.38 per cent gain in the Straits Times Index.