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UIC Q1 net profit rises 35% to S$81.1m, lifted by Shanghai home sales

MAINBOARD-LISTED United Industrial Corp (UIC), flush from its coup in consolidating ownership of Marina Square, turned in first-quarter earnings growth on Tuesday.

Net profit for the three months to March 31 swelled by 35 per cent year-on-year to S$81.1 million, according to unaudited financial statements for the period.

The group's revenue was up by 12 per cent to S$185.3 million on growth in its property and information technology business segments. Turnover from hotel operations stayed flat.

UIC got a hefty boost from its share of associated companies' results, which almost quadrupled to S$28.7 million and more than made up for a slump in joint-venture contributions.

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It noted in its financial statements that its share of associates' results jumped on contributions from the Park Eleven private home project in Shanghai, as completed units were handed over in 2019, while its share from joint ventures was nearly halved, as The Clement Canopy was finished in March.

Banking tycoon Wee Cho Yaw, who has stakes in both UIC and its parent United Overseas Land (UOL), gained another feather in his cap earlier in April, when UIC bought out the other shareholders in the holding companies for the Marina Square complex on Singapore's bayfront.

The recent deal, which came with a price tag of S$675.3 million, has put UIC and UOL in joint control of Marina Square Shopping Mall and the Marina Mandarin and Pan Pacific hotels, as well as a partial interest in the Mandarin Oriental Singapore hotel.

"The financial impact arising from these transactions will be effected in second quarter of 2019," UIC added in its latest financial statements.

Earnings per share stood at 5.7 Singapore cents against 4.2 Singapore cents in the year prior, while net asset value came in at S$4.81 a share compared with S$4.74 as at Dec 31, 2018.

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

UIC closed up by S$0.01 or 0.32 per cent at S$3.11 on Tuesday before the results were released.