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Straits Trading posts 28.7% rise in Q2 profit

THE Straits Trading Company Limited posted a 28.7 per cent rise in net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 to S$8.5 million amid a turnaround in the profitability of its resources and hospitality segments from a year ago.

The group's real estate segment, which accounted for 97 per cent of group profit during the quarter, saw a a decline in net profit to S$8.24 million from S$11.26 million in the year-ago period.

Group revenue during the quarter, however, slipped 27.2 per cent to S$101.56 million.

For the first half, Straits Trading's net profit grew 4.4 per cent to S$30.45 million on the back of a 20.7 per cent jump in profit from the real estate segment to S$27.41 million and a 16.7 per cent increase in the resources segment's net profit to S$3.14 million.

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Straits Trading explained that the better showing in real estate segment during the first six months was mainly due to marking distressed investment properties acquired by an associate to their valuations.

Group executive chairman Chew Gek Khim said: "We are encouraged with the continued improvement in our earnings. Our business platforms and alliances with our business partners continue to grow and develop at a steady pace. We will continue to tap into our unique network to generate stable and sustainable earnings for our stakeholders."

Straits Trading's 89.5 per cent-owned real estate vehicle, Straits Real Estate Pte Ltd (SRE), will continue to seek out new and attractive investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, the group said.

Just last month, SRE had, through its joint venture with a consortium comprising funds managed by ARA Asset Management Limited, acquired an office building in Sydney, Australia, with SRE's investment at about A$119 million (S$127.6 million).

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