Keppel Land achieves 45.5% growth in Q1 net profit

Keppel Land said it achieved a 45.5 per cent growth in its first-quarter net profit, thanks to higher contributions from property trading and a chunky divestment gain.

The Republic’s third-largest property developer said it earned S$92.1 million in the January-March period, up from S$63.3 million made in the first quarter of the previous year.

Property trading recorded an 8.2 per cent increase in net profit to S$51.6 million contributed by sales of local residential projects, in particular Reflections at Keppel Bay and The Lakefront Residences, as well as Elita Promenade in Bangalore, India upon its physical completion in March 2011.

In January, Keppel Land and sister firm Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation Ltd announced the formation of a joint venture company to consolidate the data centre assets.

Keppel Land then disposed of its interest in Keppel Digihub to the joint venture company, in which it holds a 30 per cent interest, giving rise to a gain of S$24.4 million.

Profit from property investment was 15.7 per cent higher at S$14.3 million mainly from an increased contribution from K-REIT Asia.

Keppel Land said the latest round of property cooling measures, announced in January 2011, to curb speculation have started to take effect, lowering the pace of growth in home prices.

However, the office property market continues to strengthen, it said.

Keppel said while it will continue to grow its earnings from Singapore, it was more optimistic on its overseas ventures, especially those in China and Vietnam.

The developer’s overseas revenue for the first quarter constituted 61.7 per cent of its total revenue, compared to 62.2 per cent in the same period of 2010.

“Despite cautious market sentiments, as a result of the recent cooling measures and a seasonally quiet first quarter for property sales, township homes in China remain in demand,” it said.

Keppel Land said that to tap on Vietnam’s rising demand for quality homes, a new waterfront township development in South Rach Chiec, Ho Chi Minh City, is primed for launch later in 2011.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 19 Apr 2011

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