ARA Asset Management posts 19% rise in net profit

Mainboard-listed ARA Asset Management said its net profit increased 19 per cent to S$14.8 million for the first quarter ended March.

The real estate fund management company said its revenue also saw a similar increase to S$27.2 million from S$22.9 million in the same quarter last year.

This was supported by a 14 per cent growth in recurrent management fees to S$22.1 million which was higher than the S$19.4 million from the same period a year ago. Some of these came from the listing of Cache Logistics Trust in April last year and fees from the firm’s one-third interest in the Marina Bay Financial Centre Property.

As at end March, ARA Asset Management’s total assets under management stood S$16.8 billion.

ARA Group chief executive officer John Lim said the company will continue to grow ARA’s real estate investment trust platform with new acquisitions as well developing and listing of new REITs.

Recently, the group took part in the listing of Hui Xian REIT, the first offshore renminbi-denominated equity offering in the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, which raised RMB10.5 billion (approximately S$2.0 billion).

ARA has proposed a 1-for-10 bonus issue for its shareholders. The firm has also declared a final dividend per share of S$0.025 per share. The dividends will be paid on May 23.

ARA said that barring unforeseen circumstances, it expects its net profit in FY2011 to be comparable to that achieved in FY2010.

ARA is affiliated with the Cheung Kong Group, owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, and manages REITs that are listed in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia with a diversified portfolio spanning the office, retail, industrial/office and logistics sectors.

These REITs include Fortune REIT dual-listed in Singapore and Hong Kong, Suntec REIT and Cache Logistics Trust listed in Singapore, Hui Xian REIT and Prosperity REIT listed in Hong Kong and AmFIRST REIT listed in Malaysia.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 May 2011

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