SINGAPORE (Feb 27): Real estate agency Propnex this morning announced that its 4Q19 earnings have increased by 349.5% to $8.2 million from just $1.8 million in 4Q18.

This increase happened as revenue for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019, increased by 57.9% to $131.0 million from $83.0 million a year ago, due mainly to the increase in commission income from project marketing services, which in turn is attributable to the increase in the number of units completed in 4Q19 following the recovery of the private residential market during the first three quarters of the year since the impact of additional cooling measures in July 2018.

As cost of sales increased 54.4% y-o-y to $116.1 million, 4Q19 gross profit came in at $14.9 million, 91.7% higher than $7.8 million in the previous year.

On a full-year basis, Propnex’s earnings increased by 3.2% to $20.0 million from $16.4 million in FY18.

However, revenue for FY19 was 2.7% lower y-o-y at $419.8 million, mainly due to the property cooling measures implemented at the end of FY2018 which had adversely affected the results for the first half of 2019. Consequently, commission income from agency services was lower, which was then mitigated by higher commission income from project marketing services.

Overall, 2019 saw 9,912 units moved in the private new launches segment, a 12.7% year-on-year increase from 2018. According to the group, the shows the resilience of the Singapore property scene amid global uncertainties and cooling measure.

In line with this, the group, which is the market leader in the private new launches segment, transacted the highest number of units amongst the joint marketing agencies for most of the new projects appointed by developers in 2019.

As at end Dec, the group’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $81.5 million.

Additionally, the group has proposed a final dividend of 1.5 cents per share and a special dividend of 0.75 cents per share. Thus, the total dividend payout for FY19 amounts to 3.5 cents per share, or 64.6% of the group’s earnings and represents a yield of 6.4% on the stock’s closing price of 55 cents on Feb 26.

Ismail Gafoor, co-founder, executive chairman and CEO of PropNex says, “We are heartened that 2019 ended off on a high note, a recognition of PropNex’s ability to deliver consistent results despite the challenging environment. As the Number One real estate agency in Singapore, we are in a good position to support our network of customers and the firm’s growth.”

“Looking ahead, PropNex will continue to invest in its people, technology and infrastructure to better serve customers,” he adds.

As at 9.55am, shares in Propnex are trading 1 cent higher at 56 cents.