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Jardine Cycle & Carriage Revenue Up 19 Per cent in First Quarter

Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd Wednesday reported that the group’s revenue increased by 19 per cent to US$5.5 billion in the first quarter of 2012.

Profit attributable to shareholders grew by 6 per cent to US$266 million and earnings per share also rose 6 per cent to US$0.7467.

Astra’s contribution was up 5 per cent to US$253 million with growth in most of its major businesses.

The group’s other motor interests contributed a profit of US$16 million, up 41 per cent from the previous year.

The group had consolidated net debt of US$97 million at the end of March 2012, excluding borrowings within Astra’s financial services subsidiaries, compared with the net debt of US$108 million at the end of 2011.

The net debt within Astra’s financial services subsidiaries was US$3.5 billion at the end of March, up from US$3.4 billion at the end of 2011, reflecting an increase in the volume financed. The parent company had net cash of US$24 million.

Jardine said the board has not declared a dividend for the first quarter ending 31 March 2012.

Chairman Ben Keswick said: “The outlook generally remains encouraging, although the trading environment for Astra could become more challenging, particularly due to changes in financial regulations impacting the automotive industry, while the group’s Singapore and Vietnam businesses continue to face a difficult trading environment.”

Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd closed Wednesday at S$46.970.


Auric Pacific to Challenge Allegations against Subsidiary Delifrance Singapore

Auric Pacific Group Limited Wednesday announced that a Writ of Summons has been filed on 13 April 2012 in the High Court of Singapore by Lim Chee Guan Food Industries Pte Ltd (LCG) against the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Delifrance Singapore Pte Ltd (DSPL) for an alleged breach of sublease agreement and the 60:40 rule under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s 2008 Master Plan Zoning, which stipulates a minimum 60 per cent of the premises for industrial activities, and a maximum 40 per cent of the premises for ancillary purposes. The registered proprietor of the premises leased to DSPL is Jurong Town Corporation.

In the Writ of Summons, LCG claims damages of approximately S$2.0 million or alternatively S$3.4 million; general damages to be assessed; and delivery of the leased premises by DSPL, arising from the alleged loss and damage suffered by LCG.

Auric said it intends to vigorously defend the allegations on the basis of legal advice it receives and will exercise all available legal remedies to oppose this claim.

It added that it will make further announcements as and when there are material developments in this case.


Koh Brothers, Heeton Collaborate with Global Luxury Brands

Koh Brothers Development Pte Ltd (KBD), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koh Brothers Group Limited, together with Heeton Land Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heeton Holdings Limited, Wednesday announced their first collaboration with top, high-fashion, and global luxury brands, Fendi casa and Kenzo maison, to decorate and furnish selected units of The Lumos development, situated in the prime Leonie Hill enclave.

KBD and Heeton will be collaborating with Fendi casa and Kenzo maison to furnish a 2,433-square foot, four-bedroom unit and a 1,755-square foot, three-bedroom unit respectively. This includes interior design of the bedrooms, study rooms and living rooms with Fendi casa and Kenzo maison branded furniture and home essentials.

Commenting on the new initiative, Francis Koh, Managing Director and Group CEO of Koh Brothers Group, said: “We have moved the bar higher, from selling of houses to homes and now, lifestyle. We are committed to improving lifestyle and will be on a lookout for more avant garde ideas and strategic partnerships.”

Danny Low, Chief Operating Officer of Heeton Holdings, said: “The Lumos was designed with affluence in mind. The collaboration with iconic brands Fendi casa and Kenzo maison is in line with our practice of working with internationally renowned creative talents for our luxury developments to inject elements of high living that appeal to the well-heeled and well-travelled.”

Koh Brothers Group Limited closed Wednesday at S$0.215.

Heeton Holdings Limited closed Wednesday at S$0.415.


Falcon Energy Announces Incorporation of Indonesian Unit

Falcon Energy Group Limited Wednesday announced the incorporation of a subsidiary, PT Bayu Maritim Group, in Indonesia by FEG Offshore Pte Ltd, which in turn is wholly-owned by the company.

PT Bayu has an issued and paid up share capital of Rp9.07 billion (about S$1.23 million).

FEG Offshore has a 90-per cent interest in the subsidiary, whose principal activity is investment holding.

The remaining 10-per cent interest is held by Mr Adi Agung Tirtamarta.

The incorporation of PT Bayu Maritim Group was funded by internal funds.

Falcon Energy said the incorporation of PT Bayu Maritim Group is not expected to have any material impact on its earnings per share or net tangible assets for the financial year ending 31 December 2012.

Falcon Energy Group Limited closed Wednesday at S$0.265.


Ascott Residence Trust Revenue Up 6 Per cent in 1Q2012

Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott REIT) Wednesday reported that it achieved revenue of S$71.6 million in 1Q2012, up 6 per cent year-on-year.

Gross profit during the period rose 2 per cent to S$37.2 million.

Ascott REIT said revenue rose mainly due to the contribution of S$1.9 million from Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo, which was acquired on 21 December 2011, and stronger performance from the group’s serviced residences in China, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Unitholders’ distribution for 1Q2012 is S$24.2 million and distribution per unit is S$0.0214.

Lim Jit Poh, Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited’s (ARTML) chairman, said: “Although the macroeconomic outlook for 2012 is expected to remain volatile, Ascott REIT remains in a strong position as our quality assets are geographically diversified across key global cities in Asia and Europe. Income stability is further supported by our extended-stay business model, as well as master leases and management contracts with minimum guaranteed income. Ascott REIT will continue to seek yield accretive acquisitions in countries where we operate and explore opportunities in new markets.”

Ronald Tay, ARTML’s chief executive officer, said: “Revenue per available unit in China, the Philippines and (the) United Kingdom grew by 22 per cent, 15 per cent and 9 per cent respectively over the same period last year, mainly led by better operating performance. In China, we had more project and relocation business, while our properties in the Philippines had higher demand from business process outsourcing, oil and gas, and aircraft engineering industries.”

Tay added: “Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London has been well received since we completed its rebranding and renovation in first quarter 2012. The upcoming London Olympics is also expected to have a positive impact on our properties in (the) United Kingdom. Ascott REIT will continue to actively manage our assets and implement asset enhancement initiatives to maximise returns to unitholders. We expect our operating performance to be profitable in 2012.”

Ascott Residence Trust closed Wednesday at S$1.100.