You are here

Low Keng Huat posts Q3 net loss of S$774,000

MAINBOARD-LISTED building company Low Keng Huat (Singapore) sank into the red in its third quarter, as cost of sales swelled, according to results released on Friday evening.

The builder rang up a net loss of S$774,000 for the three months to Oct 31, reversing the previous earnings of S$2.63 million, even as revenue surged by 34.1 per cent to S$12.4 million.

The higher revenue was fuelled by contributions from the development business that were absent in the year-ago period when the Kismis Residences & Tranquilia project was fully sold.

Low Keng Huat posted a loss per share of 0.10 Singapore cent, compared with earnings per share of 0.36 Singapore cent before, while net asset value was 87 Singapore cents a share, against 89 Singapore cents as at Jan 31, 2019.

Market voices on:

The group also notched an operating loss in its investment business on factors such as higher finance and administrative costs and lower currency gains, which deepened the woe from a nine-month decrease in revenue on the lack of contributions from third-party construction projects.

Meanwhile, the hotel business saw an uptick in turnover on the opening of the Citadines Balestier serviced apartments in September, but Duxton Perth Hotel posted lower room rates and Carnivore restaurant in Singapore was hit by lower footfall from diners, which shrank the segment's pre-tax profits to one-fifth of what they had been the year before.

For the nine months, the company clocked a net profit of just S$34,000, against S$11.9 million in the year before, while revenue was down by 81.8 per cent to S$29.6 million.

Low Keng Huat noted in its financial statements that Uptown @ Farrer, which is still under construction, launched for sale in September, with seven of the mixed-use development's 116 units sold by the end of the quarter in question.

Meanwhile, the former Cairnhill Mansions will be turned into a 138-apartment condominium pitched at a "high-end" market, to be launched by the end of 2021 alongside Low Keng Huat's 40 per cent-owned Dalvey Haus development, which is a joint venture with KOP.

Still, Low Keng Huat said in its outlook statement that the Singapore government's snap cooling measures of 2018 "continue to dampen the buying sentiment in the residential property market".

No dividend was recommended for the period, unchanged from the year before.

Low Keng Huat shares ended lower by S$0.02 or 4.65 per cent to S$0.41 on Friday before the results were announced.