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Haw Par's Q1 profit grows 26.8% to S$17 million

HAW Par Corp's first-quarter net profit grew 26.8 per cent to S$17.1 million, or 7.8 Singapore cents per share, on the back of stronger healthcare sales and gains from the disposal of financial assets.

The maker of Tiger Balm ointments said revenue increased 14.9 per cent to S$52.3 million in the three months ended March 31, as healthcare sales rose 17.8 per cent to S$45.5 million.

Other income more than tripled to S$4.8 million, which included a S$2.9 million gain on disposal of available-for-sale financial assets.

The leisure segment, which consists of the Underwater World aquariums in Singapore and Thailand, turned in an operating profit of S$480,000, from a year-ago loss of S$143,000, as there was no more depreciation required following an impairment in the fourth quarter of 2015. Leisure revenue declined 9.6 per cent to S$2.7 million.

Property revenue improved by 4.9 per cent to S$4.1 million as a result of improved occupancy.

Looking ahead, Haw Par said it expects a "challenging" business environment.

"Softening retail sectors in certain key economies could slow the growth pace of Healthcare. Leisure will continue to face headwinds. Fair values of investments may continue to be affected by the volatile equity markets," the company said.

Haw Par shares closed at S$8.73 on Wednesday before the results were announced, down by 1.02 per cent or nine Singapore cents.