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iFast Q4 profit triples to S$2.9m in absence of IPO expenses

INTERNET-BASED investment products distribution platform iFast Corporation tripled its fourth-quarter net profit to S$2.9 million, or 1.10 Singapore cents per share, in the absence of year-ago listing expenses.

For the full year ended Dec 31, 2015, net profit increased by 41.3 per cent to S$12.1 million, or 4.65 Singapore cents per share.

The online mutual fund retailer is declaring a final dividend of 0.75 Singapore cent per share, up from the year-ago payout of 0.68 Singapore cent per share.

Revenue increased by 4.9 per cent to S$20.7 million on the back of growth in Singapore and Malaysia.

Year-on-year profit growth received a boost from iFast not having to pay any IPO (initial public offering) expenses in 2015.

The company, which listed in December 2014, incurred S$1.9 million of IPO expenses in 2014. IPO expenses more than accounted for the S$1.6 million or 169.4 per cent increase in operating profit.

The company expects the recent downturn in global equity markets to negatively impact revenue and profit in the first quarter of 2016. iFast China is expected to begin contributing revenue in 2016, but start-up losses in 2016 are forecast to exceed the S$1 million incurred in 2015.

iFast continues to explore the possibility of selling a minority stake in iFast China in the next one to two years.

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