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Straco Q4 profit dips slightly

TOURISM attraction developer Straco Corporation raked in slightly lower profit for the fourth quarter of 2017 of S$6.07 million, a drop of 1.2 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

Its top line, however, was lifted by 5.8 per cent to S$24.59 million due mainly to higher revenue at its three Chinese attractions - Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Underwater World Xiamen and Lixing Cable Car.

Earnings were partially offset by lower revenue from Singapore Flyer operator Straco Leisure, hit by higher food and beverage costs from its restaurant at the Flyer, as well as retail costs.

Property and other taxes for the Flyer were also up due to higher property taxes arising from the revision in annual value by the tax authority.

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The group clocked profit before tax of S$9.32 million for the fourth quarter, 4.4 per cent higher than the same period a year ago.

Overall, for the 12 months ended Dec 31, 2017, profit attributable to shareholders was up 2.7 per cent to S$47.73 million from the previous year, on the back of a 2.6 per cent rise to S$128.44 million in revenue for the same period.

For Q4 2017, the group's earnings per share was flat at 0.71 Singapore cent, while its net asset value rose to 31.02 Singapore cents for the same period.

Straco's executive chairman, Wu Hsioh Kwang, said the group was satisfied with overall performance, with all attractions apart from Underwater World Xiamen reporting growth in visitor numbers and profitability, and expects the tourism sector to remain healthy in 2018.

Straco's counter closed on Feb 28 at S$0.83 apiece, before its earnings announcement.