SINGAPORE (Mar 5): Jardine Matheson Holdings and Jardine Strategic Holdings have reported higher earnings for FY2019 ended December on the back of one-off gains, even as underlying net profit fell on lower revenue.

For FY2019, Jardine Matheson saw its earnings jump 65% to US$2.84 billion ($3.95 billion), from US$1.72 billion a year ago.

Meanwhile, full-year earnings for Jardine Strategic climbed 19% to US$2.18 billion, from US$1.83 billion a year ago.

These were due to net gains from the disposal of the group’s interest in Jardine Lloyd Thompson, as well as revaluation gain on other investments.

Stripping off the one-off gains, underlying earnings for Jardine Matheson would have been 4% lower at US$1.59 billion, compared to US$1.66 billion a year ago, while underlying earnings for Jardine Strategic would have been 3% lower at US$1.68 billion, compared to US$1.73 billion a year ago.

FY2019 revenue for Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic both fell 4%, to US$40.92 billion and US$32.67 billion, respectively.

The group said there was a “solid performance” from Hongkong Land, which achieved a further year of record underlying profit.

Hongkong Land saw its earnings plunge to US$198.0 million for FY2019, from US$2.48 billion a year ago.

Stripping off net non-trading items, underlying earnings for FY2019 would have been a record high of US$1.08 billion, a 4% increase from underlying earnings of US$1.04 billion a year ago.

Revenue for the year fell 13% to US$2.32 billion, from US$2.67 billion a year ago, due to US$364.8 million decline in revenue from sale of properties.

See: Hongkong Land's FY19 earnings plunges to $274 mil on fair value losses

Jardine Pacific also delivered a satisfactory performance, with overall profit growth of 2% to US$164 million and strong performances by JEC and Gammon, offset by weaker performances by Jardine Restaurants and HACTL.

Astra delivered a resilient performance in 2019 in the face of relatively weak domestic consumption and low commodity prices.

At Dairy Farm, the multi-year transformation programme showed “encouraging” signs of progress.

Underlying profit was, however, lower than the prior year due to the impact of the social unrest in Hong Kong – with Mannings and Maxim’s most affected – as well as increased cost of goods and ongoing investments in its Home Furnishings business.

FY2019 revenue fell 5% to S$11.2 billion, from US$11.7 billion a year ago.

See: Dairy Farm FY19 earnings jump to US$324 mil on absence of one-off restructuring cost

Jardine Matheson is recommending an unchanged final dividend of US$1.28 per share, which produces a full-year dividend of US$1.72 per share, up 1% from the prior year.

Meanwhile, Jardine Strategic is recommending an increased final dividend of 25.0 US cents per share, which produces a full-year dividend of 35.5 US cents per share, up 4% from the prior year.

Looking ahead, the group says the short-term outlook is likely to continue to be challenging amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures taken to control it.

“Longer term, however, we remain confident in the market fundamentals that drive Asia’s growth. The board also remains confident that the group’s strong balance sheet, liquidity and clear strategic priorities will position [the group] well for strong long-term growth,” says Ben Keswick, executive chairman and managing director of Jardine Matheson and Jardine Strategic.

Shares in Jardine Matheson closed 21 US cents higher at US$52.43 on Thursday before the results announcements, while shares in Jardine Strategic closed 20 US cents lower at US$27.19.