UOL reports trebling of FY17 earnings to $891 mil on UIC consolidation

By PC Lee / The Edge Singapore | February 28, 2018 11:00 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (Feb 27): UOL Group reported FY17 earnings trebled to $891.0 million from $287.0 million in FY16 after accounting for United Industrial Corporation (UIC) as a subsidiary.
Attributable profit before fair value and other gains came in at $355.9 million for FY17, up 10% from the year before.
Group revenue was 46% higher at $2.10 billion due mainly to the consolidation of the UIC Group and the associated and joint venture companies of UOL Group and UIC Group with effect from September 2017. This added a combined $544.7 million to UOL’s topline.
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Scale model of the 663-unit Principal Garden at Prince Charles Crescent
All three core business segments recorded higher contributions, says UOL. Revenue from property development was up 59% to $1.17 billion. Excluding the effects of the UIC consolidation, property development grew 14% or $103 million on higher progressive recognition of sales proceeds mainly from Principal Garden.
Revenue from hotel ownership and operations grew 22% to $526.2 million or 3% excluding the UIC consolidation effects. Pan Pacific Melbourne, which was acquired in July 2017, contributed for the first time. Property investments revenue rose 45% to $327.1 million in FY17.
Post-UIC consolidation, group pre-tax profit before fair value and other gains/losses was 30% higher at $509.9 million. Other gains totalled $524.6 million including a net gain on UIC consolidation of $542.1 million.
UOL's directors have proposed a first and final dividend of 17.5 cents per share, a 17% increase from 15 cents in FY16.
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In FY17, group expenses increased 34% to $339.8 million as a result of the UIC consolidation. Marketing and distribution expenses were up 44% to $91.5 million; administrative expenses, 28% more at $99.3 million; finance expenses and other operating expenses, 25% and 36% higher at $37.9 million and $111 million respectively.
The share of profit from associated companies excluding fair value losses decreased 17% to $109 million as UIC, Marina Centre Holdings and Aquamarina Hotel were consolidated into the UOL accounts from Sept 1, 2017.
Share of profit from joint venture companies rose 128% to $9.7 million due mainly to contributions from The Clement Canopy as well as Holborn Island in the first eight months of 2017. The results from these entities were also consolidated from Sept 1 2017.
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Gross profit margin for FY17 stood at 33%, marginally lower than the 34% last year due mainly to higher revenue from property development, which has a higher cost ratio, as well as accelerated depreciation expenses of $21.9 million for Pan Pacific Orchard, scheduled for redevelopment into a 340-room hotel in April 2018.
Liam Wee Sin, UOL's deputy group chief, says: “The group performed well and delivered resilient earnings on all fronts last year, especially for property development. We sold 1,090 residential units in Singapore with sales value of more than $1.5 billion in FY 2017, including projects launched by UIC. We have adopted a consistent approach in residential play in Singapore and managed to acquire our sites ahead of the market. However going forward, we are concerned about the aggressive escalation of land prices and will selectively tender for sites with strong attributes.”
This story, written by PC Lee for The Edge Singapore, first appeared on Feb 27.