SINGAPORE (Oct 12): Construction firm and property developer Lian Beng Group reported earnings of $8.9 million for the 1Q18, down 29.4% from $12.7 million in 1Q17 due to lower profits from its construction segment.

Revenue for the three months to Sept nearly halved to $37.2 million from $70.8 million a year ago due to a decrease in revenue from the construction segment.

Other operating income tripled to $10.5 million in 1Q18 from $3.35 million in 1Q17, mainly due to the group’s gain on disposal of its Australian investment property at 247 and 249 Collins Street, Melbourne.

Lian Beng executive chairman Ong Pang Aik says that the group’s property investments has helped mitigate the cyclical nature of its projects-based segments, such as that of construction and property development.

“The returns from property investment have enabled us to sustain our profit level [this quarter] despite the lower contribution from construction and property development segments,” says Ong.

Ong says Lian Beng might also consider taking profit on its investment properties if there was “substantial capital gain”.

As at end August, Lian Beng’s cash holdings stood at $146 million. This will enable the group to continue exploring local and overseas opportunities to further expand its business.

The group also has a construction order book of $661 million, offering a steady flow of activity through to FY2020.

See: Lian Beng awarded $162 mil contract to construct Martin Place condo

Shares in Lian Beng closed 1 cent higher at 70 cents on Thursday.