The Straits Trading Company has reported earnings of $51.5 million for FY2020, down 39% over the preceding FY2019. Revenue in the same period was down 15.1% to $308.9 million, with a drop in its tin mining business somewhat offset by its property business.

Straits Trading’s associate, real estate management firm ARA Asset Management has increased its assets under management to $119 billion as at Dec 31 2020, ahead of its own $100 billion target. Back in Dec 31 2019, the AUM was $88 billion.

In addition, ARA continued to expand its recurring fee business via inorganic and organic growth strategies. In May and June 2020, Straits Trading increased its ownership in ARA from 20.95% to 22.06%. 

Malaysia Smelting Corporation Berhad, Straits Trading’s separately-listed tin mining subsidiary, is seen to enjoy growth over the long term as more new vehicles sold run on electricity and in which tin is a key material used.

Chew Gek Khim, executive chairman of Straits Trading calls the FY2020 results a testament to the resilience of the company’s diversified portfolio and disciplined cashflow management. 

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“The marked improvement in our results in 2H2020 reflects an improving business climate. We will press ahead with our next phase of transformation to sustain our growth and create greater shareholder value,” says Chew, referring to the 9.9% y-o-y jump in earnings for the six months ended Dec 2020.

“We will continue to grow our existing business engines while converting assets into investible securities to broaden our investor base,” she adds.

As at Dec 31 2020, the company’s net asset value was $3.78 per share, up slightly from $3.79 from Dec 31 2019.

The company plans to pay an interim dividend of six cents per share for FY2020, unchanged from FY2019.

Straits Trading closed Feb 25 at $2.80, up 1.45%.