Lee Metal posts 40.5% drop in 4Q earnings to $2 mil on higher costs of manufacturing

Lee Metal posts 40.5% drop in 4Q earnings to $2 mil on higher costs of manufacturing

Stanislaus Jude Chan
20/02/18, 05:49 pm

SINGAPORE (Feb 20): Lee Metal Group reported a 40.5% decline in earnings to $2.0 million for the 4Q ended December, from $3.4 million a year ago.

This brought full-year earnings to $7.5 million for FY17, down 43.6% from $13.3 million a year ago.

The lower earnings was mainly due to changes in inventories of finished goods and work-in-progress, which rose 24.7% to $79.7 million in 4Q17.

4Q17 revenue grew 13.4% to $92.5 million, from $81.6 million a year ago.

The higher turnover was solely attributable to its Fabrication & Manufacturing business, due to higher steel prices.

Operating expenses rose 10.8% to $3.5 million, mainly due to net loss in foreign exchange.

As at end December, cash and cash equivalents stood at $52.0 million.

The board has declared a final dividend of 1.00 cent per share for the period, unchanged from a year ago.

Including the three interim dividends paid earlier, total dividend for the year totalled 2.00 cents per share.

Looking ahead, the group says public construction demand is expected to be boosted by an anticipated increase in demand for institutional and other buildings as well as a slate of smaller government projects that have been brought forward.

Meanwhile, private sector construction demand is similarly expected to improve on the back of a strengthened overall economic outlook and the upturn in property market sentiment.

It adds that construction demand in 2018 should provide sustainable demand for the group, despite the current challenging economic conditions and intense competition among industry players.

Shares of Lee Metal closed 1 cent up, or 2.5% higher, at 41 cents on Tuesday.

Treasure hunting

British collector and expert Harry Fane talks about what it takes to be the world’s foremost authority on vintage Cartier creations and how to spot a good investment buy at his Vintage Cartier Tank watch exhibition at Dover Street Market Singapore (May 20): Harry Fane’s love affair with Cartier began at the tender age of 17. It was the 1970s and his best friend showed up one day, decked out in two must-have items of the era: a pair of Gucci shoes with a gold buckle — “the height of fashion at the time” — and a Cartier watch. “I remember going, ‘Gosh, I really want both of....

Next stop: The interchange of public and private good

SINGAPORE (May 20): Two-minute intervals between trains. Fewer breakdowns. Clean, new buses running at a higher frequency. Bright LED screens displaying details of stops on both buses and trains. To many commuters who are enjoying these benefits, the meltdown of Singapore’s transport system in December 2011, and again in July 2015, is a distant memory. Certainly, services have improved significantly. There are new trains and buses, while existing ones have been spiffed up. There has been an overhaul of the older rail systems, presumably including fixing the grips for the electricity rail ....

Failed Innopac deal portends mining magnate Gutnick’s woes in Australia

SINGAPORE (May 20): The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is seeking judicial permission to wind down mining company Merlin Diamonds. The regulator is also probing into whether its chairman Joseph Gutnick failed in his duties. Gutnick, who is known as “Diamond Joe”, is under investigation for a A$13 million ($12.3 million) loan made by Merlin to AXIS Consultants, a private company linked to him. Merlin shares have been suspended from trading since October 2018. ASIC is seeking an order to appoint Deloitte to liquidate Merlin, owner of the Merlin Diamond Mine Pro....