SINGAPORE (Feb 13): Keong Hong Holdings has declared 1Q17 earnings of $3.8 million for the three months ended Dec 31, down 20.9% from $4.8 million a year ago on lower revenue.

The building construction, hotel and property development and investment group transferred its listing from Catalist to the Mainboard of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in August last year.

(See also: Keong Hong upgrades to SGX Mainboard)

Revenue for the quarter was down 37.2% at $43.1 million compared to $68.6 million in the previous year.

According to Keong Hong, this was due to lower recognition of revenue from construction projects as some of the group’s projects including Skypark Residences, Jurong Gateway and Amore, had largely been completed in previous financial year.

The decline in revenue was partially offset by higher revenue recognition from construction of the two resorts and the airport extension in Maldives.

Despite a corresponding fall in gross profit by 12.1% to $6.5 million in the quarter, the group managed to achieve a better gross profit margin of 15.1% in 1Q17 due to higher margin contribution from projects in advanced stage.

Other income increased by 50.7% to $3.1 million, mainly due to a foreign exchange gain of $1.5 million during the quarter, which was partially offset by lower interest income.

Cash and cash equivalents stood at $66.4 million as at Dec 31, higher than the $58.6 million declared as at Sept 30.

Against the backdrop of declining sentiments among building contractors, Keong Hong says it intends to focus on streamlining its building construction operations, enhancing productivity and “keeping a keen eye on potential opportunities”, especially in the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.

Despite headwinds in the property development and investment sectors, the group says it will continue to seek out viable property development and investment opportunities in Singapore and overseas.

Shares of Keong Hong closed flat at 43 cents on Monday.