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Raffles Education Q1 profit up 22% on foreign-exchange impact

RAFFLES Education Corp's net profit for the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2015, rose 22 per cent to S$867,000, with foreign exchange affecting its numbers in several areas, the private education provider announced on Wednesday.

Earning per share was 0.09 Singapore cent.

Raffles Education shares are suspended pending an application by Chew Hua Seng, the company's chairman, chief executive and substantial shareholder, with the Securities Industry Council.

Revenue slipped one per cent to S$29.1 million during the quarter, but other operating income rose 52 per cent to S$3 million on a foreign-exchange gain and from a S$0.4 million government incentive because the company listed Oriental University City Holdings (HK) on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market.

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The impact of foreign exchange was seen in a number of items. Other operating expenses rose 8 per cent to S$14.7 million as foreign-exchange loss rose to S$2.4 million; but the share of profit from joint ventures included a S$1.3 million unrealised exchange gain that was recorded by a joint venture. The company also recorded a S$7.3 million currency translation gain from consolidating foreign operations.

Depreciation and amortisation expenses fell 18 per cent to S$2.74 million because of a change in the estimated useful lives of certain property, plant and equipment that took effect in the second fiscal quarter of the previous financial year.

Raffles Education noted "new challenges" from a macroeconomic slowdown, currency volatility and expected global interest rate hikes.