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Haw Par Q3 profit grows 31% on bounding healthcare segment

Haw Par Corp's third-quarter net profit rose 31.1 per cent to S$34.9 million as its robust healthcare business continued to be the driver of growth for the maker of Tiger Balm-branded ointments.

Haw Par's net profit for the quarter ended September was 15.9 Singapore cents on a per-share basis. No dividends were declared.

For the first nine months of the year, net profit increased by 63.4 per cent to S$164.3 million, or 75 Singapore cents per share.

Haw Par shares closed at S$8.42 on Wednesday before the results were announced, higher by 0.5 per cent or 4 Singapore cents.

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Revenue grew by 23.6 per cent to S$48.1 million during the quarter.

Operating profit from healthcare rose 68 per cent to S$13.1 million during the quarter on a 33 per cent increase in revenue to S$41.7 million as sales in key markets improved and exchange rates moved in favourable directions.

Profit from investments, which mainly comprise positions held in the stable of companies controlled by United Overseas Bank's Wee family, increased by 23.9 per cent to S$21.8 million.

Property profit declined by 18 per cent to S$2.5 million due to lower occupancy rates at the company's portfolio of commercial and industrial buildings.

Operating profit from the leisure business, which includes the Underwater World attractions in Singapore and Pattaya, continued to falter, dropping 99.5 per cent to just S$2,000 during the third quarter.

Haw Par provided guidance that the leisure business will probably remain "adversely affected" by the weak tourism outlook in Singapore and intense competition. Global uncertainties could also have a dampening effect on the operating businesses, the company said.

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