Water treatment company's first half profit drops 68%

SINGAPORE -- Water treatment company Hyflux posted a 68 per cent drop in net profit at 31.5 million Singapore dollars ($22.7 million) for the six months ending in June, as its domestic business slowed and the near-completion of its power plant in western Singapore brought in lower revenue.

Revenue at the Singapore-listed company was at S$155.2 million, down 8 per cent on the period last year. Other income also fell 73 per cent, due to lower disposal gains compared with last year when the company sold stakes in a joint venture and underwent a sale and leaseback of its headquarters building.

Revenue contributions from China more than doubled to S$58.5 million due to divestment of assets related to the company's water business there. China accounted for 37 per cent of revenue, up from 13 per cent last year, while Singapore's share declined from 78 per cent to 47 per cent.

Hyflux's executive chairman and group CEO Olivia Lum said at a press conference on Thursday that she sees some pockets of opportunity in the Middle East region in the coming six months, despite the depressed price of oil. "We expect some tender results to be announced soon in the Middle East, as well as perhaps in Asia. We are still quite optimistic amidst the very challenging economic environment," said Lum.

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