FIRST Sponsor Limited's net profit in the fourth quarter more than doubled to S$19.3 million, as revenue rose nine-fold, boosted by its sale of properties.
The China-focused property developer posted a revenue of S$84.5 million for the quarter ended Dec 31, up from S$8.4 million a year ago. This was thanks to S$77.3 million from the sale of properties, namely the Millennium Waterfront project, compared with S$5.4 million in 2013, and a S$3.6 million increase in property financing revenue.
For the full year, net profit fell 54.8 per cent to S$21.7 million, on the back of a 2.7 per cent slip in revenue to S$153.2 million.
First Sponsor's board has proposed a dividend of 0.76 Singapore cent a share.
In a separate announcement, First Sponsor said it is partnering three other parties, including a subsidiary of Tecity Group, to acquire a commercial property in Amsterdam for 51.5 million euros (S$77.7 million).
The property, known as Zuiderhof 1 Building, is located in South Axis, a central business district in Amsterdam, and has a net lettable area of about 12,500 square metres, with 111 parking spaces.
First Sponsor will hold a 33 per cent stake in the property after the completion of the deal. It will also have the right to acquire 6,160 more non-redeemable and non-convertible cumulative preference voting shares from the other three partners. If exercised, this will bring its stake to just above 50 per cent.
First Sponsor said the acquisition, expected to be completed by March 16, will benefit the group in diversifying its exposure to China, and will also increase the recurring income stream for its property holdings business business segment.
The deal will be funded through a combination of euro-denominated bank borrowings and internal funds.
Shares in First Sponsor last traded at S$1.22 on Wednesday.