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Hatten Land Q3 net loss widens to RM32.3 million

CATALIST-LISTED property developer Hatten Land sank deeper into the red in the third quarter, as a spike in expenses added to sales woes from the coronavirus pandemic.

The group now expects to record a loss for the fourth quarter and the full financial year to June 30, 2020, it said in unaudited financial statements released on Monday.

Its third-quarter net loss widened to RM32.3 million (S$10.5 million) for the three months to March 31, from RM1.54 million in the same period the year before.

Revenue fell by 92.4 per cent to RM7.24 million, on the back of a construction manpower crunch and fewer viewings and closed sales at Hatten Land’s Harbour City project.

Meanwhile, the group chalked up higher operating expenses on leaseback payments to the buyers of completed projects, while finance costs rose on interest expenses.

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General and administrative expenses also came in higher on an increase in staff costs and unrealised foreign exchange losses for greenback-denominated accounts and transactions.

Loss per share was 2.30 sen for the quarter, compared with 0.11 sen before, while net asset value shrank to 25.76 sen, from 27.93 as at June 30, 2019.

For the nine months, the net loss was RM29.4 million, against RM9.43 million previously. Turnover was down by 30.5 per cent year on year, to RM142.4 million.

With a challenging business climate from the Covid-19 pandemic and strict movement curbs taken to control the virus spread, the group flagged an expected hit to property sales, although it added that the extent and duration of the impact remains uncertain. While Hatten Land has reopened its headquarters, its retail malls and Hatten Place Hotel are still closed.

The group had also previously disclosed in May that a wholly-owned subsidiary is in a legal tussle with the contractor of the Harbour City project.

The dispute, which involves a claim of RM100 million from contractor China Construction Yangtze River (M) Sdn Bhd and a counter-claim of at least the same amount, “is expected to result in a slowdown in the construction progress of the project”, Hatten Land has now said.

No dividend has been recommended for the quarter, unchanged from the year before.

Shares added 0.3 Singapore cent, or 4.55 per cent, to 6.9 Singapore cents on Monday, before the results.

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