HONG Leong Finance's first-quarter 2015 net profit inched up 7.8 per cent to S$15.57 million, compared to S$14.44 million in the year-ago period. Revenue gained 15.6 per cent to S$53.75 million.
Along with a slowdown in GDP (gross domestic product) growth, the group is facing internal headwinds and challenges from a combination of lower productivity locally with a lead time for adjustment, manpower supply shortages, inflationary pressures and the lacklustre property and motor-vehicle markets, it said in a statement.
It added that the external markets are also showing uneven growth with the current period of uncertainty and volatility extending beyond the last two years.
Under the above scenarios, the group remains focused on ensuring a healthy and robust balance sheet with careful underwriting risk parameters.
"We will continue to help and support our Singapore small & medium enterprises during these stressful times with loan packages tailored to their needs," it said.
Annualised earnings per share were 14.04 Singapore cents, while net asset value per share was S$3.77. No dividends were declared for the quarter.
Hong Leong Finance closed up 0.38 per cent at S$2.64 on Thursday, before the results were announced.