SINGAPORE (Feb 27): Haw Par Corporation has reported a 46.2% increase in full-year earnings to $179.1 million for the FY18 ended December, from $122.5 million a year ago.

This was led by a 64.6% increase in other income to $108.0 million, from $65.6 million a year ago, due to an increase in dividend income from the group’s strategic investments and higher interest income.

Group revenue rose 6.8% to $237.8 million in FY18, from $222.8 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to better performance at the group’s Healthcare division.

Revenue from Healthcare increased 7.6% to $216.9 million, driven by higher sales volume in key markets.

Healthcare profit increased 12.6% to $77.3 million, largely due to lower marketing expenses for certain markets and products that have reached some critical mass, offsetting higher cost of raw materials.

Revenue from Property and Leisure dipped 1.1%, due mainly to lower Property occupancy.

The decline was partially offset by an increase in revenue at Underwater World Pattaya due to an increase in visitorship.

Earnings per share (EPS) rose to 81.2 cents for FY18, compared to a restated EPS of 55.7 cents for FY17.

Net asset value (NAV) per share slipped to $13.26 as at Dec 31, 2018, compared to restated NAV per share of $13.98 at end 2017.

As at end December, cash and cash equivalents stood at $519.4 million.

The group has recommended a second and final dividend of 15 cents per share for the period, as well as a special dividend of 85 cents per share.

Haw Par, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, says this one-time payout is to reward shareholders for the support over the decades.

Together with a first and interim dividend of 15 cents per share paid earlier, this will bring total dividends for FY18 to $1.15 per share.

In FY17, the group paid total dividends amounting to 20 cents per share, comprising a first and interim dividend of 10 cents per share, and a second and final dividend of 10 cents per share.

Moving forward, the group says valuation of the group’s strategic investments may be affected by geopolitical tension and economic uncertainties, which contribute to equity market volatility.

It adds that Healthcare’s operating margin may be affected if commodity prices remain high.

Shares in Haw Par closed 1 cent higher at $12.39 on Wednesday.