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World Class Global turns a profit in FY2018, but no dividend forthcoming

CATALIST-LISTED real estate group World Class Global was back in the black in 2018, after failing to report any income the year before, according to unaudited full-year results released on Thursday.

Despite a S$16.4 million foreign-exchange loss in the 12 months, net profit came in at S$23.2 million for the period to Dec 31, against a loss of S$9.03 million previously.

The company recognised S$442 million in revenue, mainly from the settlement by the buyers of its Avant and Australia 108 projects.

Earnings per share was 2.53 Singapore cents against a loss per share of 1.04 Singapore cents before.

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The residential Australia 108 development in Melbourne was launched in 2014 with 89 per cent of units sold, based on sale and purchase agreements that have been entered into and not rescinded. The company said it "continues to make good progress with the construction", with 70 out of 101 floors built.

"The Australia 108 project is expected to contribute significantly to the group's revenue and profitability for FY2019 to FY2020," World Class Global added in its outlook statement, noting that the unit price for the higher floors is expected to be better and improve the profit margin.

It will continue selling units for the mixed-use Nova City project in Cairns, which was launched in 2016 and is 61 per cent sold, in the year ahead.

The group also said that it "may launch the Albert Street project in Brisbane, subject to prevailing market conditions in Brisbane" during the next 12 months.

As for its loss-making Malaysian operations, the group has finished upgrading and building works for some properties in Penang, where it now has six hotels. The seventh is expected to open by March 2019.

No dividend was recommended, unchanged from the year prior, which the board said was because "the group has just turned profitable in FY2018 and the board of directors deemed it more appropriate to retain the cash in the group for its future growth".