Lian Beng H1 net profit falls 5.2% to S$17.6m, Companies & Markets

Thu, Jan 14, 2021 – 9:08 PM

THE financials of Mainboard-listed property player Lian Beng Group took a hit in the first half-year, as Covid-19 restrictions hammered the construction segment.

Net profit fell 5.2 per cent year on year to S$17.6 million for the six months to Nov 30, 2020, while revenue tumbled by 36.6 per cent to S$197.5 million.

The drag came on work suspension during the circuit-breaker period, as well as labour supply disruptions, its results released on Thursday indicated.

But the hit to the top line was broad-based, as the hold-up in construction activity led to a decline in property development turnover.

Meanwhile, tenant rental rebates caused a decrease in investment holdings revenue, Lian Beng noted in its unaudited financial statements. Given the double-digit revenue drop, earnings slipped even with support from Lian Beng’s share of results from associates and joint ventures, which were up year on year.

The homegrown building construction and property development company said it recognised more development profit and sales at its private-home projects; its dormitory business and investment holdings benefited from lower interest rates. These made up for a share of loss from the British hotel business.

Earnings per share came to 3.52 Singapore cents for the half-year, compared with 3.72 Singapore cents before; net asset value rose to 145.58 Singapore cents a share, up from 141.24 Singapore cents as at May 31, 2020.

No interim dividend was recommended, unlike the year before, when Lian Beng paid out S$0.01 a share. The move came on a decision to prioritise cash conservation.

This was as the level of activity in the construction sector is expected to remain limited amid the Covid-19 pandemic; the group warned that the supply chain for materials may be disrupted, affecting construction project completion costs.

Still, Lian Beng’s construction order book was S$1.5 billion as at Jan 14, 2021, which the group said in its outlook statement should support its activities through FY2023.

The counter closed flat at S$0.44, before the results were announced.

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