SINGAPORE (Nov 10): Investment company The Straits Trading Company saw its earnings drop 29.4% to $11.9 million in the 3Q ended September, down from $16.8 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to an 18.3% increase in total expenses to $136.0 million during the quarter.

The increase was led by a 21.2% jump in costs of tin mining and smelting to $116.9 million in 3Q17, largely due to higher production costs and operating expenses.

The group’s total revenue grew 16.5% to $132.1 million in 3Q17, as revenue from its tin mining and smelting segment gained 19.1% to $128.8 million on the back of higher sales volume of refined tin and higher tin prices.

The increase was partially offset by a 36.5% drop in revenue from its property business to $3.3 million. This was mainly due to the absence of rental income from the office building in Australia after completion of the sale in November 2016.

As at end September, cash and cash equivalents stood at $350.2 million.

The group says its resources business segment continued to focus on its operational efficiencies programmes, while its real estate business segment continued to see positive developments.

“Our real estate platform is growing well. Having established ourselves as a significant investor in that space, we intend to continue to leverage our network in the Straits Trading real estate ecosystem to explore further opportunities to grow our existing portfolio,” says Chew Gek Khim, executive chairman of Straits Trading.

“One of our plans is to incorporate a bigger portfolio of income-producing residential assets in well-located cities in the Greater Osaka and Greater Tokyo area that will give Straits Trading a sustainable income base,” she adds.

Shares of Straits Trading last closed at $2.39 on Thursday.