SINGAPORE (Oct 13): Construction firm Lian Beng Group reported a 60.8% drop in 1Q earnings to $12.7 million from a year ago on lower turnover and lower share of results of associates and JVs.

Revenue for 1Q17 ended Aug decreased 47.8% to $70.8 million mainly due to a decrease in revenue generated from the construction segment and ready-mixed concrete segment.

Share of results of associates and joint ventures declined by $20.5 million to $8.0 million mainly due to the completion of some property development projects such as NEWest and the Midtown and Midtown Residences in the last financial year.

(See also: Lian Beng posts 4.7% fall in full-year earnings)

Gross profit however rose 21.7% to $18.5 million on higher profit recognition from the construction division.

Other operating expenses increased $2.8 million to $5.4 million mainly due to increase in unrealised exchange loss and impairment loss on investment securities.

Distribution expense increased $1 million mainly due to increase in marketing expenses incurred for the launch of industrial property development T-Space located at Tampines North Drive 1.

The group expects the construction industry to remain challenging. It will continue to leverage on its track record and proven capability to tender for more projects.

The group also expects its investment in the high yield bonds as well as investment properties to generate stable interest and rental incomes going forward.

Shares of Lian Beng closed 0.5 cent lower at 46.5 cents.