Solid profit growth for Metro Holdings

Investment and development firm Metro Holdings achieved 93.8 per cent growth in profit after tax of S$15 million for its latest year.

Metro says this was driven by higher divestment gain mainly from its share of a “substantial” gain of $1.159 billion from associate Top Spring’s disposal of eight property projects; plus the completed divestment of a $30 per cent equity interest in Nanchang Fashion Mark with a gain of $9.8 million.

Metro Holdings registered robust 93.8 per cent growth in net profit after tax to S$157 million for the year. Its core property division had a surge in profit before tax to $170.2 million, and it sees China as a core market.

This month, the group invested 35 per cent equity interest in a JV to acquire a 90 per cent stake of a mixed-use commercial building, Shanghai Plaza, for a total investment value of RMB2.907 billion.

Metro’s retail topline improved by 4 per cent to $129.7 million thanks to higher sales from Singapore. However, pressure on margins continues amid higher running costs within a highly competitive trading environment.

During the year, Indonesia opened two stores – Metro Puri Mall and Metro Grand Kawanua Manado. The start-up costs of these stores also impacted profitability.

The group’s turnover of $34.3 million for the fourth quarter grew by 1.8 per cent as the retail division reported higher sales. However, final-quarter gross profit fell to $2.3 million because of lower margins.

Other final-quarter net income increased to $29.4 million mainly because of a divestment gain of $15.8 million from the disposal of the group’s 30 per cent equity interest in an associate in Nanchang. The group also recorded a gain on disposal of available-for-sale investments of $3.6 million while unrealised foreign exchange loss incurred was lower by $5.4 million.

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