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Wing Tai Holdings Q1 net profit rises threefold to S$6.8m

WING Tai Holdings' net profit more than tripled to S$6.8 million for the first quarter ended Sept 30, thanks to a 20 per cent reduction in cost of sales and higher profits from associates and joint ventures.

The mainboard-listed property investment and development player with lifestyle retail business saw its bottom line jump to S$6.8 million from S$2.2 million for the corresponding period a year ago. Consequently, its earnings per share was 0.47 Singapore cent as at Sept 30, compared to 0.09 cent for the year-ago period.

It did not declare a dividend for the quarter.

Revenue was 2 per cent higher at S$79.3 million, with higher contribution from development properties largely responsible for the marginal improvement.

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In a regulatory filing on Wednesday on the financial results, Wing Tai said: "Revenue for the current quarter was mainly attributable to the additional units sold in Le Nouvel Ardmore in Singapore." However, it did not elaborate on the total or additional units moved.

Cost of sales was 20 per cent lower, resulting in a 33 per cent higher gross profit.

Wing Tai's share of profits of associated and joint-venture companies increased by 13 per cent to S$10.5 million in the quarter, largely due to the higher contributions from Wing Tai Properties in Hong Kong and Malaren Gardens in Shanghai.

It acquired a freehold property in September that is being leased out as a data centre in Victoria, Australia, resulting in a 75.2 per cent decline in cash and cash equivalents from S$855.9 million a year ago to S$211.9 million in the quarter ended Sept 30.

Nonetheless, net asset value per share as at Sept 30 improved marginally to S$4.20, compared to S$4.19 as at June 30. Net gearing ratio remained at 0.12 times as at the end of the reporting quarter.

"The group will continue to monitor the market and will launch its new residential project for sale in Singapore at the appropriate time," Wing Tai said in the statement.

Wing Tai shares ended down two Singapore cents or 0.97 per cent at S$2.05 on Wednesday.