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Stocks to watch: OCBC, UOB, Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm, Mandarin Oriental, Hi-P, A-HTrust

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

OCBC Bank: OCBC on Friday reported a net profit of S$1.22 billion for the second quarter of 2019, up one per cent from S$1.21 billion a year ago, mainly from record earnings from the group's banking franchise. Annualised earnings per share (EPS) rose to S$1.15, up from S$1.06 a year ago. An interim dividend of 25 cents per cents has been declared for the first half of 2019, up 25 per cent or five cents from 20 cents a year ago. OCBC shares last closed at S$11.42 on Thursday, down 12 Singapore cents or 1.04 per cent before the results was out.

UOB Group: UOB on Friday morning posted an 8 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to S$1.17 billion for its second quarter ended June 30, on the back of strong loan growth and higher trading and investment income. Singapore's third-largest bank raised its interim dividend for the second time in two years to 55 Singapore cents per share, up from 50 cents a year ago and 35 cents in 2017. The dividend will be paid on Aug 27, with books closure on Aug 19.

Annualised earnings per share came in at S$2.75, up from S$2.51 the year prior. Meanwhile, net profit before tax for Q2 beat market estimates by rising 9 per cent to S$1.4 billion. This exceeded the S$1.26 billion average estimate of three analysts, according to Bloomberg data. Net interest income rose 7 per cent to S$1.65 billion, as gross loans were up 9 per cent against the same quarter last year to S$273 billion. Shares of UOB ended down 12 cents or 0.45 per cent to S$26.28 on Thursday.

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Hongkong Land: Hongkong Land, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, on Thursday posted a 2 per cent year-on-year rise in underlying profit attributable to shareholders to US$466 million for the six months ended June 30 as the group's results benefited from increased contributions from both investment properties and development properties. Including net losses of US$55 million arising primarily on the revaluation of the group's investment properties, profit attributable to shareholders for the first half of the year was US$411 million, versus US$1.12 billion for the first half of 2018, which included net gains of US$669 million from property revaluations.

Underlying earnings per share stood at 19.96 US cents, up 3 per cent year-on-year. The directors have declared an unchanged interim dividend of six US cents per share. Hongkong Land shares finished at US$6.09 on Thursday, down three US cents.

Dairy Farm International: Underlying profit for supermarket and convenience store retailer Dairy Farm International rose 5.4 per cent to US$176.6 million for the half-year ended June 30, from a restated US$167.5 million a year ago. The accounts were restated due to changes in accounting policies. Revenue dipped 3 per cent to US$5.76 billion due to deconsolidation of the Rustan Supercenters business in the final quarter of 2018 and the space optimisation plan for the Food business currently taking place in South-east Asia.

Net profit was flat at US$178 million. Underlying earnings per share was 13.05 US cents, compared with 12.38 US cents a year ago. An interim dividend of 6.50 US cents per share has been declared, unchanged from the previous period. The counter ended at US$7.38 on Thursday before results were released, down 1.6 per cent.

Mandarin Oriental: Jardine hotelier Mandarin Oriental's underlying net profit - which excludes non-trading items - was more than halved for the first half of the year, according to results released on Thursday. Underlying net profit plunged by 52 per cent year-on-year to US$10.7 million for the six months to June 30, as revenue fell by 8 per cent to US$641 million. Overall, the group posted a net loss of US$12.1 million, against a net profit of US$22.2 million before, amid net non-trading losses on The Excelsior's closure. Loss per share came to 0.96 US cent, against earnings per share of 1.76 US cents before.

The board has declared an interim dividend of 1.50 US cents a share, unchanged year-on-year. Mandarin Oriental, which is listed in London, has secondary listings in Bermuda and Singapore. The counter lost US$0.04 or 2.52 per cent to US$1.55 in Singapore on Thursday before the results were released.

Hi-P International: Mainboard-listed electronics contract manufacturer Hi-P International's cost controls paid off in the second quarter, as earnings rose despite a decline in revenue. Net profit for the three months to June 30 was up by 16.9 per cent year-on-year to S$14.4 million, according to results released on Thursday. Revenue slipped by 5.2 per cent to S$286.4 million on price pressure and lower sales from some customers, as well as dilution in a loss-making flexible printed circuit board business. Earnings per share stood at 1.79 Singapore cents for the quarter, up from 1.52 cents in the year-ago period, while net asset value was 69.06 Singapore cents a share, against 70.44 cents as at Dec 31, 2018.

Hi-P reported an 11.9 per cent rise in net profit for the half-year to S$25 million, on a 1.7 per cent dip in revenue to S$573.2 million. No dividend was recommended, unchanged from the year before, which the board said was "to conserve cash for business growth". The counter dipped S$0.01 or 0.7 per cent to S$1.38 on Thursday before the results were released.

Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust): A-HTrust will pay out a distribution per stapled security (DPS) for the three months to June 30 of 1.28 Singapore cents, down by 5.2 per cent on the same period in the year before, the manager said in results released on Thursday. The trust, which is changing its financial year to end on Dec 31, posted a lower DPS on the absence of proceeds from the divestment of two hotels in Beijing the previous year.

But, shorn of the sale proceeds, distributable income from operations came 6.4 per cent higher in the quarter at S$15.6 million, the manager highlighted in the results. Net property income was up by 13.6 per cent to S$21.3 million, on a 3.5 per cent rise in gross revenue to S$46.5 million, on contributions from five hotels that were bought in the year prior. The counter closed up by S$0.02 or 1.92 per cent to S$1.06 on Thursday.

Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust (LMIRT): LMIRT, which recently refinanced maturing debts with a five-year bond issuance, has now sweetened the pot with a bumped-up second-quarter distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.6 Singapore cent for the three months to June 30. The latest DPU came in higher by 1.7 per cent on the 0.59 Singapore cent payout in the year-ago period, while distributable income was up year-on-year by 4 per cent to S$17.5 million, the manager said in results released on Thursday. Net property income rose by 1.9 per cent to S$44 million on positive rental reversions and better cost management. The counter shed half a cent or 2.08 per cent to S$0.235 on Thursday before the results were released.

Chip Eng Seng: The property developer plans to expand its education arm with an Australian pre-school, even as second-quarter results showed revenue declines in its core real estate and construction businesses. It turned in a net profit of S$3.99 million for the three months to June 30, less than one-third of the S$12.2 million it earned in the year-ago period. Revenue fell by 7.2 per cent year-on-year to S$237.4 million, with hospitality the only division to post growth. Earnings per share stood at 0.64 Singapore cent for the three months, down from 1.97 cents in the year-ago period.

Net profit for the six months came in lower by 17 per cent at S$15.2 million, despite a 14.8 per cent jump in revenue to S$374.1 million. No dividend was recommended for the latest quarter, unchanged from the previous year. Chip Eng Seng closed flat at S$0.705 on Thursday before the announcements were made.

BreadTalk Group: The food and beverage operator BreadTalk Group's second-quarter earnings were more than halved on expansion-related costs, according to results released on Thursday. Net profit fell by 57.9 per cent to S$1.02 million for the three months to June 30, even as revenue rose by 9.8 per cent to S$163.3 million. Earnings per share for the quarter stood at 0.18 Singapore cent, down from 0.43 cent before. Net profit for the half-year came in 35.3 per cent lower at S$2.34 million, while revenue was up by 7.9 per cent to S$321 million. The board recommended an interim dividend of half a Singapore cent, flat on the year before. The counter added S$0.015 or 2.14 per cent to S$0.715 on Thursday before the results were released.