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Aspen (Group) Holdings net profit increases 156.6% to RM13.1m

PROGRESS on on-going projects gave a lift to results for Malaysia-based property group Aspen (Group) Holdings in its first quarter.

Net profit atrributable to equity holders leapt 156.5 per cent to RM13.1 million (S$4.44 million) from the previous year, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday evening.

Earnings per share went up to 1.52 sen from 0.67 sen in the previous year.

For the three months ended March 31, revenue leapt 170 per cent to RM102.7 million from the previous year.

This was thanks to the progress made on Tri Pinnacle, Vervéa and Vertu, along with the completion of sale of a vacant commercial land.

Administrative expenses also increased by 99 per cent to RM10.61 million in its first quarter, mainly due to corporate branding events held, increase in depreciation cost increase in staff costs from an increase in headcount.

"Business conditions in Malaysia is expected to remain favourable as the political uncertainties over the past few months have now been cleared up," said Aspen.

Aspen further noted that prior to his appointment as finance minister, former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng and the Penang state government had been actively promoting Batu Kawan as the third satellite city after the completion of the RM4.5 billion Penang Second Bridge in 2014.

Batu Kawan is where Aspen's flagship project Aspen Vision City is located. The Ikea Store in Aspen Vision City is scheduled to complete construction in November 2018 and will be open for business in early 2019.

"Penang being led by (Mr Lim) for the last 10 years will receive boost in infrastructure and transportation investments which he had championed and planned while he was the chief minister. We expect all the new investments will have great positive impact on property prices in Penang," said president and group chief executive officer M Murly.

From four other projects, Vervéa, Vertu Resort, Tri Pinnacle at Tanjong Tokong and Beacon Executive Suites, Aspen has recorded a total unbilled sales of RM760.13 million as at March 31.

Aspen also said that it expects its placement agreement with Oxley Holdings announced in April 2018 that will see the Singapore developer hold about 10 per cent of Aspen's enlarged share base to "bring long-term benefits to both companies". Placement is expected to be completed on or before May 21 this year.

Aspen (Group) Holdings shares finished S$0.005 or 2.2 per cent down at S$0.225 on Tuesday.

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