Earnings of Tiger Balm maker Haw Par Corporation dropped 19.1% to $91.0 million in 1H2020 ended June, from $112.5 million a year ago, due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed globally to curb the transmission of coronavirus.

This translated to lower earnings per share of 41.1 cents on a fully diluted basis in 1H2020, compared to 50.9 cents in 1H2019.

Revenue for the six month period plunged 43.6% to $80.9 million, following the uncertain economic outlook and the sudden standstill faced by the tourism sector in some markets. 

Cost of sales correspondingly decreased by 36.8% to $37.3 million due to a dip in the demand for the corporation’s healthcare products.

Other income meanwhile rose by 6.3% to $74.3 million, thanks to an increase in dividend income to $68.7 million and a surge in miscellaneous income to $2.2 million.

Conversely, distribution and marketing expenses were down 34.5% to $18.6 million due to a cut back in expenditure in advertisement and promotional activities in the first half of the year.

Similarly, general and administrative expenses were down 25.5% to $4.5 million from lower staff costs and gains in foreign exchange in 2020, compared to the net foreign exchange loss faced in 2019.

The group also had a 44% drop in its finance expenses to $61,000 thanks to its full repayment of a bank borrowing.

As at June 30, cash and cash equivalents stood at $579.9 million 24.6% up from the $407.3 million held at the end of 1H2019. 

This is due to the “cash dividends received from strategic investments, proceeds from the net sales and purchase of investments and cash generated from operations,” the company explains in its results filing on Aug 12.

The group has recommended a first and interim dividend of 15 cents for the period, to be paid in September. The same amount was paid out in 1H2019. 

The group is now bracing itself for a hit in operations going forward given the uncertainty of the unprecedented Covid-19 health-turned-economic crisis.

It adds that its “results will be further impacted by the expected reduction in dividend income from its strategic investment portfolio, which is likely to experience significant fluctuations in its valuation amid the uncertainties”.

Shares in Haw Par was up 12 cents or 1.302% to close at $9.34 on Aug 12, before its results announcement.