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Stocks to watch: Haw Par, Best World, Halcyon Agri, Roxy-Pacific, PACC Offshore Services

THE following companies saw new developments that may affect trading of their shares on Thursday:

Haw Par Corporation: Haw Par on Wednesday announced that net profit for the first quarter ended March 31 rose 14.1 per cent to S$22.07 million. Group revenue increased 22.3 per cent year on year to S$73.38 million on the back of increased demand for healthcare products, while earnings per share rose to 10 Singapore cents, up from 8.8 cents previously. Haw Par shares closed at S$13.75 on Wednesday, up five cents, or 0.4 per cent. 

Best World International: Best World on Thursday said that the company and its founders - Dora Hoan and Doreen Tan - have on May 3 started defamation proceedings against Bonitas Research and its founder in the Singapore High Court. The move is in response to a 28-page report published by Bonitas in April questioning the authenticity and legality of the premium skincare firm's profits. Best World said the report contains false and defamatory allegations "intended to undermine the reputations" of the group and its senior management, cause a loss of confidence in the group, and inflict damage on the price of the company’s shares to "financially benefit Bonitas". It said Bonitas is a professional short seller, and has openly stated in the report that it would profit from the decline in the company’s share price. 

Separately, the company on Wednesday night also posted a 79 per cent jump in net profit for the first quarter to S$10.3 million, from S$5.8 million a year ago. The company attributed the performance to strong sales growth across most of its markets. Earnings per share was 1.88 Singapore cents, compared with 1.05 cents in the first quarter of 2018, and revenue more than doubled to S$53.4 million from S$24.5 million in Q1 2018.

Halcyon Agri Corp: Rubber supplier Halcyon swung to the red for the first quarter with a loss of US$5.7 million versus a restated profit of US$1.3 million a year ago, as sales volume dropped due to a switch in strategy while financing costs rose. Revenue slid 16 per cent to US$399.7 million from US$475.7 million a year ago, due to a decline in revenue per tonne owing to rubber prices over the period, and falling sales volumes led by the group migrating its sales strategy away from long-term contract sales towards spot sale. Halcyon posted a loss per share of 0.36 US cent for the first quarter compared with an earnings per share of 0.08 US cent for the previous year's corresponding period. The counter closed unchanged at 50.5 Singapore cents on Wednesday.

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Roxy-Pacific Holdings: The property and hospitality group on Wednesday posted lower net profit for the first quarter ended March 31, despite a near-doubling of revenue as cost of sales soared. Net profit fell 31 per cent to S$5.3 million from S$7.7 million a year ago, while revenue was up 91 per cent to S$88.5 million from S$46.5 million in the corresponding quarter last year. This was on higher contribution from its property development segment, largely due to the settlement of The Hensley in Q1 2019 and progressive revenue recognition from The Navian. The increase was partially offset by lower revenue from the hotel ownership and property investment segments. Earnings per share was 0.41 Singapore cent, compared with 0.59 cent a year ago. Roxy-Pacific shares closed unchanged at S$0.405 before the results were announced.

PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH): POSH on Wednesday posted a net loss of US$12.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31, widening from a loss of US$7.2 million a year ago. This came as revenue fell 12 per cent to US$61.8 million, from US$70.6 million for Q1 2018. The group attributed the fall mainly to lower contributions from its offshore accommodation segment, as one of its two semi-submersible accommodation vessels was undeployed in the quarter. Loss per share widened to 0.701 US cent from 0.397 cent a year ago. POSH shares closed at S$0.178 on Wednesday, down 0.6 Singapore cent or 3.26 per cent.



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