SINGAPORE (Nov 15): The Straits Trading Company reported earnings of $14.0 million for the 3Q18 ended September, some 18.1% higher than earnings of $11.9 million a year ago.

The increase was largely due to increased contributions from an enlarged property portfolio.

3Q18 revenue fell 15.9% to $111.1 million, from $132.1 million a year ago.

This was led by a 19.2% decline in tin mining and smelting revenue to $104.1 million, due to lower sales volume of refined tin.

The decline was partially mitigated by higher property revenue, which more than doubled to $7.1 million in 3Q18 on the back of additions to the overseas portfolio.

Interest income surged to $16.0 million in 3Q18, from $6.0 million a year ago, mainly due to higher interest income from the notes issued by the joint venture.

The group reported foreign exchange losses of $5.2 million in 3Q18, compared to foreign exchange gains of $2.1 million a year ago. This was mainly due to a weaker Australian dollar arising from its investments in debt instruments.

As at end September, cash and cash equivalents stood at $227.0 million.

“Our real estate platform continues to pursue attractive investment opportunities that add depth and breadth to our portfolio in and around the region,” says Chew Gek Khim, executive chairman of Straits Trading.

Meanwhile, Chew says the progressive migration of 54.8%-owned subsidiary Malaysia Smelting Corporation’s smelting operations to the new state-of-the-art plant in Pulau Indah, Klang is proceeding as planned.

“[This] will result in higher operational efficiencies and lower operating costs in the long run,” Chew adds. “Given the size of the plot and its strategic location, the development potential of the Butterworth land is very significant.”

Shares in Straits Trading fell 4.3%, or down by 9 cents, to close at $2.02 on Wednesday.