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First Sponsor net profit up 28.9% in Q2; to pay S$0.01 per share interim dividend

PROPERTY firm First Sponsor Group's net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 rose 28.9 per cent to S$12.1 million from S$9.4 million in the year-ago period.

This was despite revenue falling 21.2 per cent to S$44.1 million, due mainly to a decline in revenue from sale of properties, offset partly by higher revenue from property financing, hotel operations and rental income.

Earnings per share for the quarter were 1.66 Singapore cents, up 15.1 per cent from 1.44 Singapore cents previously. The group will pay an interim dividend of one Singapore cent per share, in line with its year-ago payout.

The group, whose property development activities focus on the Netherlands and China, noted that its China financing loan book rose 36 per cent in the quarter to 1.6 billion yuan. "The group looks forward to the increase in profit contribution from this business segment and will continue to grow this business in a prudent manner," it said in its results release on Friday.

Looking forward, the group said it was cautiously optimistic about sales of the SOHO component of its Star of East River project in Dongguan, China, comprising more than 2,300 units to be launched later this year. It has also made a successful bit for a mainly residential development in Dongguan as part of a consortium, with an interest of most than 20 per cent in the project.

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The redevelopment of the Oliphant Amsterdam office is expected to complete in early 2019 and the group expects the property to be substantially leased by 2019, having already entered lease proposals with two grade A tenants expected to take up 59 per cent of the newly renovated property on a long-term basis.

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