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Haw Par profits down by 4.4% to S$40.5 million as higher expenses weigh down earnings

RISING expenses ate into profits at Haw Par Corporation Ltd in the third quarter, the group behind Tiger Balm ointment, said on Friday.

Net profit slipped by 4.4 per cent from the previous year to S$40.5 million.

The decline came even as revenue grew by 7.4 per cent to S$53.4 million on the back of stronger healthcare sales.

But cost of sales ticked up by 11.8 per cent as well, to S$19.36 million.

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An increase in marketing activities for the core healthcare segment - which is driven by Tiger Balm sales - also sent distribution and marketing expenses up by 20.3 per cent to S$13.08 million.

Meanwhile, a softer greenback caused general and administrative expenses to swell by 85.7 per cent to S$4.25 million, from S$2.29 million before.

These higher costs took their toll: Earnings per share fell to S$0.184 for the three months to Sept 30, from S$0.193 in the same period the year before.

Haw Par - which also deals in property, leisure and other investments - noted in its report that "the group's investments and, correspondingly, its net assets will continue to be influenced by the global equity markets".

It added: "Health care will continue with its advertising and promotional efforts, including launching new products in various key markets to support its growth."

Shares closed lower by S$0.08, or 0.65 per cent, to S$12.22, before results were announced.