SINGAPORE (Nov 10): Lee Metal Group saw its earnings halved to $1.9 million in the 3Q ended September, falling 53% from $4.0 million a year ago.

Revenue dipped marginally by 1.5% to $86.4 million in 3Q17, from $87.7 million a year ago.

The lower turnover was largely attributable to the winding down of its steel merchandising business in December last year.

Rental and utilities expenses grew 11.4% to $1.6 million, mainly due to lower rental for low inventory levels in the corresponding quarter last year.

Other operating expenses rose 16.8% to $2.3 million, led by a $0.8 million loss on liquidation of a subsidiary.

Financial expenses more than doubled to $0.60 million, from $0.24 million a year ago. This was mainly due to higher trade financing in its fabrication & manufacturing business.

As at end September, cash and cash equivalents stood at $61.8 million.

The group has declared an interim dividend of 0.3 cents for the current period, payable on Dec 8. This is the same as the interim dividend paid in 3Q last year.

Looking ahead, Lee Metal says recent government measures to bring forward public infrastructure projects coupled with the surge in residential collective sale transactions should increase demand for building works, and will augur well for the group’s value added activities.

Shares of Lee Metal closed 2 cents higher at 38.5 cents on Friday.