SINGAPORE (May 24): Bukit Sembawang Estates saw its earnings surge ninefold to $21.5 million in the 4Q ended March, from $2.3 million a year ago athough full-year earnings fell 23.7% to $55.3 million.

4Q18 revenue more than doubled to $32.8 million, from $15.2 million a year ago, on the back of higher sales and higher profit recognition on development projects.

Other operating expenses fell 78.0% to $1.5 million in 4Q18, from $6.6 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to the absence of allowance for foreseeable losses on development properties during the current quarter. In 4Q17, Bukit Sembawang saw an allowance for foreseeable losses of $5 million for Paterson Collection.

Gross profit jumped to $27.1 million in 4Q18, from $10.4 million a year ago, mainly due to higher profit recognised on development projects based on the percentage of completion method.

As at end March, cash and cash equivalents stood at $145.6 million.

Bukit Sembawang has recommended a final dividend of 4 cents per share for the period, and a special dividend of 14 cents per share. This is lower than a year ago, when Bukit Sembawang paid out a final dividend of 4 cents per share and a special dividend of 29 cents per share.

Looking ahead, the group notes that Singapore’s overall private residential property prices rose by 3.9% in 1Q18 – the third consecutive quarter of increase.

Bukit Sembawang adds that it will monitor closely the changing dynamics of the residential property market for timely launching of new residential projects for sale.

Shares of Bukit Sembawang closed 3 cents higher at $6.17 on Thursday.