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Straits Trading narrows losses in Q3

TIN mining and real estate conglomerate The Straits Trading Company managed to narrow its third-quarter loss but has stayed in the red overall as its real estate arm continued to bleed.

The group chalked up a net loss of S$7.05 million for the three months to Sept 30, a 62 per cent reduction from the S$18.52 million net loss the previous year, it said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Friday.

This came on the back of a 6.2 per cent slide in revenue to S$199.1 million for Q3.

The loss in Q3 was mainly due to mark-to-market and disposal loss from marketable securities under its real estate segment, Straits Trading said in a statement. Resources revenue was also hurt by lower average tin prices this year compared with last year, it said.

Though its resources arm accounted for the lion's share of turnover at around S$195.79 million, down 5.4 per cent year-on-year, the division brought in razor-thin margins with a net profit of just S$3.49 million.

That failed to alleviate a drastically poorer showing in the conglomerate's real estate unit, where revenue dived 37.1 per cent to just S$3.31 million from the previous year. The segment racked up a S$6.74 million net loss.

Straits Trading said that the revenue drop was because there was no rental revenue from the Straits Trading Building after the completion of building's sale in December 2014.

It warned that Malaysia Smelting Corporation, the Group's 54.8 per cent-owned resources arm, will continue to be hit by tin price and foreign exchange fluctuations.

The group made a loss per share of 1.7 Singapore cents for Q3, an improvement from a loss per share of 4.5 Singapore cents the previous year.

Net asset value shrank to S$3.10 as at Sept 30, 2015, from S$3.32 as at Dec 31, 2014.

Straits Trading shares slid a cent to S$2.30 before the results were released.