SINGAPORE (Apr 28): Property developer First Sponsor Group reported earnings of $24.9 million for 1Q2020 ended March, 4.8% higher than the $23.8 million reported in 1Q2019.

Revenue came in 1.1% higher at $45.8 million, driven by an increase in property financing revenue. This was due mainly to a one-off establishment fee from the provision of a A$370 million ($336.4 million) construction facility to fund the redevelopment of the City Tattersalls Club in Sydney.

However, property development and property holding revenue both fell during the quarter.

This was attributable to lower contribution from investment properties arising from the deconsolidation of the Zuiderhof I property in Amsterdam, as well as lower hotel revenue due to the Covid-19 outbreak from the Chengdu Wenjiang hotels, the adjoining hotspring, and the Hilton Rotterdam hotel. The decrease in revenue was also attributable to no handover of residential and commercial units of the Chengdu Millennium Waterfront project in 1Q2020.

Gross profit for the Group increased 4.2% to $33.7 million.

During the quarter, the Group also successfully issued 5-year $100.0 million medium term notes at a coupon rate of 3.29% per annum.

In April 2020, the Group completed the refinancing of committed revolving credit facilities with two banks of an aggregate amount equivalent to $193.3 million, with a higher gearing loan covenant which further extended the Group’s debt maturity profile.

On the Chinese property financing front, due to the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Group consented to the short term deferral of interest payments to a borrower with a RMB580 million ($116.5 million) loan and another related borrower group with two cross collateralized loans amounting to RMB330 million ($66.3 million).

First Sponsor has declared an interim dividend of 1.6 cents a share.

Shares in First Sponsor closed flat at $1.12 on Monday.