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iFast Corporation's Q4 profit plunges 59.9%

iFAST Corporation marked a 59.9 per cent plunge in net profit for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2016, to S$1.15 million on the back of losses in China operation, higher staff costs and an impairment loss on investment in financial assets.

Revenue during the quarter rose 3.9 per cent to S$21.55 million due to the growth of the group's business and asset under administration in the period.

This was contributed by the group's continuing efforts to broaden the range and depth of its investment products and services in the year, said the investment products distributor.

The start-up losses in the China operation, which was soft-launched in March 2016, stood at S$3.61 million in 2016.

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For the full year, iFast posted a 55 per cent drop in net profit to S$5.45 million, which it attributed to volatile global financial markets.

Excluding the China operation but including the impairment loss on investment in financial assets amounting to S$680,000 recognised in the fourth quarter, the group's profit after tax fell by 33 per cent to S$2.14 million in the fourth quarter and 30.7 per cent to S$9.06 million for the full year.