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Boardroom Q1 net profit falls 78.4% to S$418,000 on jump in costs

MAINBOARD-LISTED business services provider Boardroom saw its first-quarter net profit drop sharply on spiralling staff and other costs.

Net profit shrank by 78.4 per cent on the previous year to S$418,000 for the three months to March 31, according to financial results released on Tuesday.

This was even as revenue grew by 17.3 per cent to S$22.3 million - up across the board, in the corporate secretarial, share registry, and accounting and payroll businesses - with some newly bought Symphony House Group companies folded into Boardroom's Malaysian businesses.

But staff benefits swelled by 29.6 per cent to S$13.9 million on larger headcount and higher salaries in what Boardroom called "the highly competitive labour markets we operate in".

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Finance costs ballooned to S$690,000, more than 10 times the S$60,000 clocked previously.

Meanwhile, depreciation and amortisation expenses jumped from S$821,000 to S$1.82 million, which the group attributed to new accounting standards that reclassified rental expenses as lease amortisation.

Finance, depreciation and amortisation costs "have increased in line with our expansion and subsequent integration of all our businesses", Boardroom added.

Earnings per share slipped to 0.2 Singapore cent, down from one Singapore cent previously, while net asset value stood at 45.62 Singapore cents a share, against 45.46 Singapore cents as at Dec 31, 2018.

Boardroom said in its outlook statement that the group's performance is expected "to remain satisfactory" amid a general slowdown in growth.

While initial public offerings have taken a hit from the weaker market, "we continue to invest in technology and diversify our service offerings", the company said.

It added that it will also work on productivity and regionalisation efforts.

No dividend was recommended, unchanged from the previous year.

Boardroom last traded on May 3 at S$0.77.