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Centurion Q4 net profit soars to S$53.1m on net fair-valuation gains

NET fair-valuation gains helped lift net profit for worker and student accommodation provider Centurion Corp for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Dec 31, which jumped to S$53.1 million from the year-ago period's S$5.9 million. (see amendment note)

This was on the back of a S$48.6 million in net fair-valuation gains from its student accommodation in the United
Kingdom.

The group said: "Despite uncertainties surrounding Brexit, a positive outlook for UK purpose-built student accommodation assets over the longer term and a strong market appetite to deploy capital in the sector have led to higher yield compression in 2018." 

Excluding one-off items, profit from core business operations was S$9.5 million, S$1.3 million lower than the previous year.

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For the three months ended Dec 31, revenue fell 6.7 per cent to S$31.3 million from the preceding year, mostly because of the lease expiry of Westlite Tuas, which ceased operations in December 2017.  

Earnings per share leapt to 6.32 Singapore cents from 0.73 Singapore cent in the previous year.

For the full fiscal year, the group saw net profit rise to S$79.3 million, as compared to S$31.72 million previously.

The Board has recommended a final dividend of one Singapore cent per share. That brings the total dividend payout for the fiscal year to two Singapore cents per share. In the previous fiscal year, the company handed out 2.5 cents per share, including a 0.5 cent per share special dividend.

Centurion closed unchanged at S$0.405 on Thursday before results were announced.

Amendment note: A previous version of the story said that its year ago-period's net profit was S$5.8 million. The article has been revised to reflect this.