SINGAPORE - Fewer development properties available for sale led Yeo Hiap Seng to report first quarter net profit that was 69 per cent lower at $15.5 million from $49.4 million in the same period a year ago.
Revenue at the diversified property and food and beverage (F&B) group was $135.6 million, 38 per cent lower than the $219.2 million it delivered last year. Earnings per share dropped sharply from 8.61 cents to 2.70 cents.
Yeo Hiap Seng's property division continued to show weakness. Revenue from the division plunged 78 per cent to $25.1 million from $116.3 million because of the "reduction in number of units of development properties available for sale in the current financial period".
That, in turn, decreased the property division's profit after tax to $7.3 million in the three-month period, 83 per cent lower than the $44.1 million reported last year.
Yeo Hiap Seng's F&B division grew its net profit attributable to shareholders by 50 per cent to $6.1 million from $4.1 million, on the back of an 8 per cent increase in turnover to $110.6 million from $102.9 million.
Gross profit from F&B improved 10 per cent year-on-year to $41 million from $37.2 million because of lower raw material costs and higher revenue. Yeo Hiap Seng expects the F&B division's margins to be squeezed because of the competitive selling prices in the market.
Yeo Hiap Seng will continue to sell its remaining 12 units of development properties over the next 12 months.
Separately, the group announced the stepping down of Yap Ng Seng as executive director and Irwin David Simon as independent non-executive director.
Both individuals did not seek re- election at the company's 57th annual general meeting (AGM) held on Wednesday. Mr Simon was however appointed as an adviser to the board with effect of the conclusion of the AGM.
Yeo Hiap Seng Limited rose three cents to $2.61 on Wednesday.
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