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CapitaLand buys Pearl Bank Apartments for S$728m; Q4 profit falls 38%

Developer CapitaLand posted a 38 per cent drop in its fourth-quarter net profit, and also announced separately on Tuesday that it has acquired the iconic Pearl Bank Apartments in Chinatown for S$728 million.

CAPITALAND on Tuesday announced it has acquired the iconic Pearl Bank Apartments in Chinatown for S$728 million, as the developer posted separately a 38 per cent drop in its fourth-quarter net profit.

CapitaLand said that the acquisition - which matched the owners' reserve price - was through a private treaty collective sale. With an additional lease top-up premium estimated at S$201.4 million, the sale price translates to a land price of about S$1,515 per square foot per gross floor area.

The apartment owners, who own units ranging from 1,323 sq ft to 3,993 sq ft, each stand to receive minimum gross profit of between S$1.8 million and S$4.9 million.

Owners of commercial units that range from 700 sq ft to 5,630 sq ft could receive between S$1.2 million and S$6.9 million.

Subject to certain conditions, CapitaLand plans to redevelop the site into a highrise residential development comprising around 800 units with "social, shared facilities".

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CapitaLand, which posted a net profit of S$267.7 million on Tuesday, said that the 37.8 per cent fall from Q4 2016 came from a lower handover of units for development projects in China and lower portfolio and fair value gains. This was partially mitigated by a net writeback of provision for foreseeable losses.

For the three months ended Dec 31, 2017, earnings per share (EPS) stood at 6.30 Singapore cents, down from 10.20 Singapore cents a year ago.

Net profit for the full year ended Dec 31, 2017, however, rose 30.3 per cent to S$1.6 billion on the back of improved operating performance, higher fair value gains from revaluation of investment properties and portfolio gains.

The increase was partially offset by the absence of a fair value gain from the change in use of Raffles City Changning Tower 2, CapitaLand said.

In FY 2017, EPS was 36.50 Singapore cents, up from 28 Singapore cents in FY 2016.

Revenue in Q4 2017 fell 35 per cent to S$1.2 billion mainly due to lower completion and handover from development projects in China, partially mitigated by higher contributions from development projects in Singapore, shopping mall and serviced residence businesses, as well as contributions from CapitaLand Mall Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust and RCS Trust.

Revenue for FY 2017 decreased 12 per cent to S$4.6 billion.

The board is proposing a final ordinary dividend of 12 Singapore cents a share for FY 2017.

Shares of CapitaLand were trading seven Singapore cents higher at S$3.54 as at 12.50pm.

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