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Ho Bee Land Q4 net profit down 20.5% to S$81.4m

A S$20.3 million provision for a potential tax liability caused Ho Bee Land’s fourth-quarter net profit to fall 20.5 per cent to S$81.4 million.

Authorities raised an additional tax assessment in 2018 on the group’s gain on sale of Hotel Windsor in 2013, though Ho Bee said that it has objected to the assessment based on professional advice.

For the three months ended Dec 31, revenue jumped 22.8 per cent to S$147.9 million from the previous year.

This resulted from higher rental revenue from Ropemaker Place, which was acquired on June 15, 2018, as well as a a net fair value gain of S$93.0 million on its investment properties in the United Kingdom and Singapore — 19.2 per cent higher than the same quarter a year ago.

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For the quarter, earnings per share was at 12.24 Singapore cents, down from 15.39 Singapore cents in the year-ago period.

For the year, net profit rose 8.3 per cent to S$270 million, and earnings per share rose to 40.58 Singapore cents, up from 37.44 Singapore cents.

Ho Bee is recommending a dividend of 10 Singapore cents per ordinary share, comprising a first and final dividend of eight Singapore cents per share and a special dividend of two Singapore cents per share. This is the same as last year.

The group said in its financial results: “Our portfolio of commercial properties in Singapore and the UK will continue to provide stable recurring income in the coming year. Notwithstanding, the group is aware of the headwinds arising from the threat of a full-blown US-China trade war and Brexit. We will continue to monitor the underlying global economic outlook, and adapt the group’s business strategies to meet these challenges.”

Its shares closed unchanged at at S$2.51 on Monday.