SINGAPORE (Aug 9): Aspial Corp, the jewellery retail, property and financial services group, reported half-year losses narrowed to $0.2 million from $3.3 million a year ago.

Revenue for the half year fell 10% to $245.5 million mainly due to lesser development projects in 2017 and lower sales from the jewellery business. The financial services business however continued to record higher revenue.

Sales from the real estate business declined by 29% to $97.4 million in 1H17 from a year ago mainly contributed by the progress recognition of sales from CityGate and final recognition of sales from [email protected]. In 1H16, there was higher sales contributions from The Hillford, [email protected], Urban Vista and CityGate. Materials and subcontract costs fell 17% to $173 million accordingly.

Although the group has made good progress in the sales and construction of its overseas projects, unlike in Singapore, Aspial says it cannot progressively recognise the revenue as the completed contract method in accounting is adopted for these projects.

Revenue from the financial services business rose 22.4% to $93.4 million, lifted by higher interest income and sales from the retailing and trading of jewellery and watches.

Aspial says the ongoing consolidation of retail network and weak consumer sentiment has continued to affect the jewellery business. For 1H17, sales from the jewellery business decreased by $8.0 million to $58.4 million.

At the pre-tax level, half-year group profit was up by $9.2 million to $7.7 million.

In its outlook, the group still expects to remain profitable in FY17.

Shares in Aspial closed at 26 cents on Tuesday.