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CENTURION Corporation reported on Monday that its net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, fell 58 per cent to S$9.4 million due to the absence of an one-off gain a year ago.
Revenue, however, rose 44 per cent to S$25.3 million. This growth was mainly driven by its accommodation business, which saw a 56 per cent or S$8.5 million increase in revenue.
Centurion recorded a one-off gain of S$17.3 million from the sale of industrial factory units at M Space. Excluding the one-off gain, the group's share of operational profits derived from Westlite Mandai's workers accommodation operations increased by S$63,000, from S$1.5 million in Q1 2014 to S$1.54 million in Q1 2015.
Finance costs increased by S$1.8 million, mainly due to additional interest costs incurred for the financing of the newly acquired student accommodation portfolio in the UK, as well as the bank facility fee incurred in financing the development of ASPRI-Westlite Dormitory - Papan.
In Q1 2015, the group generated a positive cash flow of S$14.8 million from operating activities before working capital changes. Cash of S$110.5 million in investing activities was mainly used for the acquisition and development of its accommodation assets, in particular for ASPRI-Westlite Dormitory - Papan.
Net cash of S$92.7 million was received from financing activities mainly due to financing obtained for acquisitions and project developments. The group recorded a reduction in cash and cash equivalents of S$5 million, but continues to maintain a healthy cash and cash equivalent balance of S$54 million by end March 2015.
Looking ahead, Centurion said its accommodation business remains positive, supported by stable demand for both its workers and student accommodation across Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and the UK. With Westlite Tampoi in Malaysia commencing operations in January 2015 and the expected completion of Westlite Woodlands with 4,100 beds in Q3 2015, the group is on track to achieve continued growth in its core business in 2015.