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USP Group sees full-year net loss of S$21.3m on exceptional items

WATCH-LISTED USP Group saw a net loss attributable to owners of S$21.3 million for the year ended March 31, 2019, compared with a profit of S$47,000 the previous year.

This was despite revenue rising 6.1 per cent to S$41 million, and gross profit rising 8.6 per cent to S$13.6 million. If not for one-off impairment and write offs, loss after tax from continuing operations would have been about S$1.4 million, narrowing from the previous year's figure of S$2.6 million, said USP Group.

Major exceptional losses included a S$14.1 million write-off of oil blending machines and deposits with its vendor, as USP Group has decided its oil blending business is no longer viable.

In addition, Chinese electronics maker Huan Hsin, in which USP Group was a major shareholder, delisted on Jan 18, 2019. "Due to the lack of visibility of receiving an exit offer in the near future", USP Group made full impairment of its investment in Huan Hsin, amounting to S$1.2 million.

USP Group also made a fair value adjustment on its investment property at Woodlands resulting in a fair value loss by S$3.5 million.

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USP Group said it would continue to review and manage its investment portfolio, and actively explore new opportunities for growth and expansion. It expects its marine business to continue to be its revenue driver in 2019.

As earlier announced, it is in talks with a potential buyer to dispose of its biofuel research business. On the property investment front, its 71 Blandford Drive project is building up from a two-storey semi-detached unit to a two-and-a-half-storey one, to command a better selling price. Its property investment in Koon Cheng Development "has continued to exhibit high occupancy and good cashflow", said USP Group.

USP Group shares closed unchanged at 7.5 Singapore cents on Thursday before the results release.

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