SINGAPORE (Apr 25): First Sponsor Group, the mixed property developer in the Netherlands and China, announced 1Q18 earnings increased by 20.3% to $17.1 million, compared to $14.2 million in 1Q17.

During the quarter ended Mar 31, the group recorded a 42.6% drop in revenue to $47.8 million from $83.3 million in the previous year, due mainly to the decrease in revenue from sale of properties.

The decrease in revenue from sale of properties in 1Q18 was due mainly to the recognition of revenue from 62 residential units in the Millennium Waterfront project, compared to 600 residential units in 1Q17.

Cost of sales dropped 70.9% to $17.1 million from $58.9 million a year ago, bringing 1Q18 gross profit to $30.7 million, 25.8% higher than $24.4 million 1Q17. Hence, gross profit rose 25.8% to $30.7 million.

Selling expenses were 47.0% lower at $1.49 million, compared to $2.81 million last year.

The group also recorded a share of after-tax loss of associates and joint ventures of $3.37 million, compared to profits of $0.5 million in the previous year.

Neo Tech Pheng, CEO of First Sponsor, says the group sees a number of new opportunities in the property financing business with bank credit tightening in China.

On the default loan recovery front, Neo says the group has recognised another $7.7 million of penalty interest income during the quarter upon the receipt of net auction proceeds by the Court in respect of the successful enforcement on a RMB64 million defaulted loan.

Shares in First Sponsor last traded 1 cent higher at $1.27 on Tuesday.