Ho Bee Land has reported earnings of $90.6 million for the 1H20 ended June, a 115.4% surge from the $41.5 million a year ago.

The spike in earnings translates to earnings per share (EPS) of 13.62 for 1H20, nearly twice the 6.32 cents registered in 1H19.

Group revenue for the 1H20 increased 2% y-o-y to $107.3 million.

Rental income grew 4% y-o-y to $107.3 million due to positive rental reversions when leases were renewed for the group’s investment properties in Singapore and London during the half-year period.

Direct rental expenses fell 24% y-o-y to $7.3 million largely due to the recovery of business rates from the UK tax authorities and property tax from tenants of approximately $1.5 million in total.

Ho Bee Land also achieved savings in rent commission expense of approximately $0.3 million for the 1H20.

Staff costs & directors’ remuneration increased 38% y-o-y to $10.4 million due to the hiring of a new team based in Gold Coast, Australia since 4Q19.

Accrual for the Chairman’s profit-sharing expense also increased in line with the increase in profits in the current period.

For 1H20, Ho Bee Land also recorded a net exchange gain of $5.7 million compared to a loss of $3.6 million for 1H19 mainly due to the revaluation of its net monetary assets in AUD and Euro, as both currencies appreciated against the SGD during the current period.

Consequently, profit from operations increased 15% y-o-y to $93.2 million.

Ho Bee Land’s share of profits from the Shanghai and Zhuhai associates was $31.3 million in the current period compared to the losses of $0.4 million a year ago.

The higher profit included increased rental income of $107.3 million (compared to $103.2 million in 1H19) and foreign exchange gain of $5.7 million (compared to the loss of $3.6 million a year ago).

Its share of the results of jointly-controlled entities grew y-o-y to $3.0 million compared to the $2.3 million in losses registered in 1H19. This was mainly attributable to higher profits from the Seascape and Cape Royale developments in Sentosa Cove, as well as the residential development project in Tangshan.

No dividend has been declared for 1H20, line with Ho Bee Land’s policy to consider a final dividend at the end of the FY.

As at end June, cash and cash equivalents stood at $88.5 million.

Looking ahead, Ho Bee Land says its business outlook is “grim and uncertain” amid the continued lockdown and potential second waves of Covid-19 infections.

“Our ancillary F&B tenants have suffered loss of business due to the pandemic. We are focused on supporting these tenants in Singapore and London,” it says in an Aug 13 statement.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are fortunate to have a portfolio of prime offices in Singapore and London, as these offices remain 100% occupied. Our recurring income base has contributed to the resilience of the group during these challenging times,” says chairman and CEO Chua Thian Poh.

Shares in Ho Bee Land closed 2 cents higher, or 1% up, at $2.02 on Aug 13, prior to the announcement.