Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

June 4, 2008

F&N gains slip 10% on lack of one-time profits

Filed under: Developer News,Financing,General — Propertymarketupdates @ 4:12 am

THE absence of one-off gains took the fizz out of Fraser & Neave’s (F&N’s) second-quarter profits.

The property, food & beverage (F&B) and publishing conglomerate reported yesterday that net profit for the period ended March 31 slid 9.8 per cent to $96.6 million.

This was because the numbers for last year’s second quarter included non-recurring gains that had boosted profits before interest and tax by $41.8 million.

These included $25.4 million from the disposal of an interest in a development site, $11.9 million from the sale of investments and $4.5 million recovered from an aborted project.

Revenue grew 4.7 per cent to $1.14 billion, as a strong showing by the F&B business helped cushion the firm against a dip from development properties.

Earnings per share before exceptional items fell from 7.7 cents to seven cents. Net asset value per share dipped from $3.77 as at Sept 30 to $3.70 as at March 31.

F&N has proposed an unchanged interim dividend of five cents a share.

Its half-year numbers were brighter, driven mainly by its property arm and soft drinks sales. Net profit grew 11.7 per cent to $205.2 million, as revenue rose 12 per cent to $2.46 billion.

Chairman Lee Hsien Yang said in a statement that the strong half-year results showed the resilience of F&N’s business portfolio.

He added: ‘Our property division continues to benefit from progressive recognition of previously sold projects, and higher rental and occupancy rates for offices, retail malls and serviced residences.

‘F&B showed resilience in spite of highly competitive conditions compounded by rapidly rising raw material costs.’

The company said yesterday that its search for a chief executive officer (CEO) is still ongoing after the abrupt departure of previous CEO Han Cheng Fong last October.

Meanwhile, F&N’s unit – Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) – reported a 12.9 per cent jump in second-quarter net profit to $43.6 million, as revenue grew 8.6 per cent to $487.9 million.

Earnings per share before exceptional items rose from 15 cents to 18 cents, while net asset value per share increased from $3.69 as at Sept 30 last year to $3.74 as at March 31.

APB CEO Koh Poh Tiong said Indochina remained the star performer, accounting for 52 per cent of group profit before interest and tax.

He added: ‘I am particularly pleased that Singapore achieved a 4 per cent increase in domestic sales in a largely mature market.

‘Our wide portfolio of complementary brands is winning over consumers in Singapore despite the plethora of competitive brands.’

APB is recommending an interim dividend of 14 cents a share. Its shares closed two cents up yesterday at $13.40.

Recent key developments include the opening of a brewery in Laos and the expansion of another in North Vietnam.

Yesterday, F&N shares rose three cents to $4.92.

Source : Straits Times – 10 May 2008

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