SINGAPORE (Nov 12): Straco Corporation reported 3Q18 earnings edged up 0.1% to $21.4 million from $21.3 million in 3Q17.

This brings 9M18 earnings to $35.8 million, 14.1% lower than $41.7 million in 9M17.

Revenue for the quarter came in 5.2% higher at $48.5 million from $46.1 million in the previous year, mainly due to higher revenues achieved by Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (SOA), Underwater World Xiamen (UWX) and Lixing Cable Car, but partially offset by lower revenue achieved by Singapore Flyer.

Overall visitations to all of the group’s attractions was 2.01 million visitors for the quarter, 5.5% higher than the same period last year.

During the quarter, the group registered exchange losses of $1.28 million, compared to gains of $0.1 million a year ago.

Repair and maintenance expenses increased by 54.9% to $1.55 million, compared to $1.0 million last year.

As at end Sept, the group’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $203.1 million.

In its outlook, Straco says China’s gross domestic product increased by 6.5% in 3Q18 even as the US-China trade war puts pressure on growth.

Nonetheless, domestic travel market in China has increased steadily, with 2.83 billion domestic tourists in 1H18, 11.4% higher than a year ago, while domestic tourism income increased by 12.5% y-o-y to 2.45 trillion yuan.

Meanwhile, visitor arrivals to Singapore increased by 7.7% y-o-y to 9.2 million in 1H18 even as the city-state works to enhance its overall attractiveness as a travel destination.

Shares in Straco closed 1 cent lower at 69 cents on Monday.