Sapphire Corp posts 1.9% rise in 1Q earnings to $0.9 mil despite lower margins

Sapphire Corp posts 1.9% rise in 1Q earnings to $0.9 mil despite lower margins

By: 
Michelle Zhu
11/05/18, 06:12 am

SINGAPORE (May 11): Sapphire Corp announced earnings of RMB4.1 million ($0.9 million), up 1.9% from RMB4 million a year ago due to higher revenue.

Revenue for the quarter grew 62.4% to RMB303.6 million from RMB188.1 in 1Q17 due to a surge in ongoing projects in China for the group’s core revenue driver, Ranken Infrastructure, in addition to higher sales of railway sleepers over the quarter.

Gross profit margin however fell to 8.8% from 14.4% a year ago, mainly due to higher costs of materials and lower margins from the sale of railway sleepers. As such, gross profit fell marginally to RMB26.9 million from RMB27 million in 1Q17.

Other income halved to RMB1.3 million from RMB3 million in the absence of an exchange gain recorded in the previous year, along with lower project-related compensation income in the latest quarter compared to a year ago.

In its filing on Thursday, Sapphire Corp’s CEO, Wang Heng, says the latest set of 1Q results coincided with the Chinese New Year festive season which resulted in significantly higher labour costs.

She also attributes the decline in gross margins to more complex and technically challenging underground railway projects undertaken by the group over the quarter under review.

“Nevertheless, we are pleased with the underlying operational performance and we will continue to focus on enhancing our operational capabilities and efficiencies in this niche area,” says Wang.

Shares in Sapphire closed 2.8% higher at 19 cents on Thursday. 

Living it up

SINGAPORE (Mar 25): This is the season for indices. On March 20, Singapore was ranked 34th in the World Happiness Index — less happy than Taiwan, but far more cheery than Hong Kong and China, as well as its neighbours, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Globally, the Scandinavian and north European cities top the index; and New Zealand, Canada and Austria round out the top 10. The index this year focuses on happiness and the community, taking into account how happiness has evolved over the years, as affected by technology, social norms, conflicts and government policies. A week earlier, th....
Read More >>

The charismatic bankrupt who allegedly pulled the strings behind Singapore's largest stock manipulation scandal

SINGAPORE (Mar 26): Garbed in purple overalls, John Soh Chee Wen cuts a relaxed figure as he takes his seat. The garment falls fittingly on his athletic frame, not unlike a designer suit. It could well have made a fashion statement, save for the word "prisoner" emblazoned in white across the back. As his legal team huddled around him before the start of the trial, the 60-year-old is a picture of calm. At one point, he casually flashes a thumbs up at his lead counsel, N Sreenivasan, a managing director and senior counsel at Straits Law LLP. Then, as he turns back to his seat in the dock, ....
Read More >>

OCBC still bullish on banking stocks after a lacklustre FY18

SINGAPORE (Mar 26): OCBC Investment Research remains bullish on Singapore’s banking space while keeping its sector “overweight” with “buy” calls on both DBS and UOB, which have been given fair value estimates of $29.31 and $28.30, respectively. Both stocks had dividend yields of 4.8%, with DBS and UOB trading at the respective book values of 1.3 times and 1.1 times, or at an average of 1.2 times historical book as at the close of Wednesday. In a Tuesday report, OCBC analyst Carmen Lee notes that raising this average to 1.3 times book and factoring a 10% premium for DBS over the....
Read More >>