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UIC Q1 profit up 39% on higher property sales, share of SingLand

UNITED Industrial Corp's (UIC) net profit for the first quarter rose 39 per cent on the back of higher property sales and a larger share of recently privatised Singapore Land.

The property developer said net profit grew to S$60.8 million, or 4.4 Singapore cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, 2015. In keeping with the year-ago position, no dividend has been declared for the quarter.

UIC shares closed at S$3.51 on Friday before the results were announced.

Revenue increased by 30 per cent to S$193.2 million as sales of trading properties jumped by S$44.1 million to S$62.6 million.

That was due to progressive sales recognition for V on Shenton, Mon Jervois and Alex Residences.

Hotel operations revenue improved by a modest 1.7 per cent to S$36.1 million, while gross rental income from investment properties stayed mostly flat at S$68.1 million.

Non-controlling interests fell sharply to S$8 million from S$19.3 million a year ago as a result of UIC's successful privatisation of SingLand in 2014.

UIC said it sees the office-leasing market staying steady even with more secondary space in the market as tenants relocate to older buildings. Retail rents and hotel room rates could be under pressure on a combination of weak tourist arrivals, new retail and hospitality space and slow retail sales.

Residential property sales will also remain slow with property cooling measures still in place.

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