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Aspial's profit surges 111%, expects to be profitable in 2018

HIGHER profit from its CityGate project, foreign exchange gains as well as higher interest income from its secured lending business helped lift results for Aspial Corporation in its full 2017 financial year.

Net profit rocketed 111.1 per cent to S$2.3 million from the year-ago period, the group said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Monday evening after the market had closed.

For the 12 months ended Dec 31, revenue dived 21.9 per cent to S$485.1 million from the previous year.

The group recorded sales and marketing expenditure of S$1.6 million mainly for its remaining Australia 108 units and Avant projects in Melbourne and phase one of Nova City in Cairns. It also made allowances for the write-down of S$1.3 million for development properties in Penang and properties held for sale in Australia, as well as net foreign exchange gain of S$1.7 million for its overseas real estate business.

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The group further incurred one-off initial public offering expenses of S$1.7 million for the overseas real estate business, as well as a S$1.8 million impairment on its investment securities.

Earnings per share jumped to 0.12 Singapore cent from 0.06 Singapore cent in the year-ago period. Net asset value per share crept up to 17.40 Singapore cents as at Dec 31, from 16.14 Singapore cents in a year ago.

Aspial said that it expects three out of six stages of its Australia 108 project in Melbourne, and all two stages of Avant to be completed in 2018.

The group said that it expects to receive more than S$700 million of sales proceeds when completed development units are handed over to purchasers.

In the next 12 months, the group will proceed with the sale of Nova City project and intends to launch its Albert Street project in Brisbane, subject to local market conditions.

"At current market prices, the group expects to make substantial profits from its ongoing development projects in Singapore and Australia," the group said, adding that it expects its real estate business is expected to contribute significantly to revenue and profitability from FY2018 to FY2020.

"Barring unforeseen circumstances and major depreciation of Malaysian and Australian currencies, the group expects to be profitable in 2018."

Aspial proposed a final dividend of 0.25 Singapore cent per ordinary share, to be paid out on a yet-unannounced date.

Aspial shares finished 0.5 Singapore cent or 2.04 per cent higher at 25 Singapore cents on Monday.