Keppel Corp's Q3 profit soars 32 per cent

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Corals at Keppel Bay, one of the properties under Keppel Land. Keppel's property division has sold more than 3,600 homes so far this year, surpassing the total number of 2,350 homes it sold last year.
The Straits Times

Keppel Corp's latest quarterly earnings have soared 32.1 per cent as brighter contributions from its property business offset a slide in rig earnings.

The world's biggest offshore oil rig builder said on Thursday that net profit was $457.6 million for the three months ended Sept 30.

Profits rose 20 per cent to $403 million, if gains from revaluation, impairment and divestments were excluded.

"As we move into the last quarter of 2013, we expect volatility and challenges in our operating environment," said Keppel chief executive Choo Chiau Beng.

"Keppel has performed creditably, not just by leveraging existing strengths and competencies but also actively seeking out new opportunities and growth adjacencies," he added.

Group revenue dipped 8.4 per cent to $2.95 billion, mainly owing to weaker contribution from its offshore and marine arm, which saw lower work volume.

These numbers brought Keppel Corp's earnings to $1.16 billion for the nine months ended Sept 30, down 28.2 per cent from a year earlier. Revenue for the nine months also slumped 19.9 per cent to $8.78 billion.

Earnings per share for the quarter rose to 25.3 cents from 19.3 cents in the same period last year.

Net asset value was $4.98 as of Sept 30, down from $5.14 as of Dec 31 last year.

Quarterly earnings at its offshore and marine division slipped from $317 million to $282 million because of lower revenue.

This division has secured about $5 billion in new orders so far this year, with its net order book at a record $13.6 billion as of end-September with work extending to 2019.

Mr Choo said: "The discoveries in the North Sea, Mexico and Africa continue to fuel optimism and investment for further exploration work."

Keppel's star performer was its property arm, whose third- quarter profit more than doubled from $142 million to $315 million, mainly due to an improvement in its China sales.

The property division has sold more than 3,600 homes so far this year, surpassing the total number of 2,350 homes it sold last year.

Mr Choo said: "With a strong financial position, Keppel Land will be able to make strategic acquisitions in its key markets."

Its infrastructure arm posted a higher third- quarter profit of $48 million compared to $27 million in the same period last year, due to brighter numbers at the power and gas business.

Keppel Corp shares finished flat at $10.81 on Thursday, before the results were announced.

alfoo@sph.com.sg


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