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ST Engineering Q1 profit up 11% to S$131.1m

ST Engineering's first-quarter net profit increased 11 per cent to S$131.1 million from S$117.7 million in the year ago period, on improved US shipbuilding performance in its marine sector and increased profits in aerospace and electronics.

Earnings per share was 4.20 Singapore cents compared to 3.78 Singapore cents in the prior year. The defence and engineering group's shares closed down 0.5 per cent or S$0.02 at S$4.02 on Tuesday.

No dividend was recommended for the quarter, same as the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 5 per cent to S$1.73 billion from S$1.65 billion, boosted by its aerospace and land systems sectors.

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While revenue increased, net profit for land systems declined by S$0.4 million or 3 per cent to S$15.2 million, mainly due to "unfavourable sales mix, higher operating expenses of its robotics business, lower other income and higher tax expense from absence of favourable tax finalisation adjustment".

“We had a good start to the year and our recent contract wins have increased our order book to a high of S$14.1 billion," said Vincent Chong, president and CEO, ST Engineering. "Our focus remains on strengthening our core businesses and pursuing growth in Smart City and in the international defence business."

The company said S$4.2 billion of its order book is expected to be delivered in the remaining months of 2019.

On the acquisition of Belgium satellite telecoms firm Newtec Group, Mr Chong said it is expected to complete in the second half of 2019, and will combine with ST Engineering's existing satellite communications business to further enhance the company's value proposition for smart cities.