CapitaLand first-half profit plunges 89% on Covid-19 restrictions, tenant support

CapitaLand’s earnings per share stood at 1.9 cents for the half year, down from 21 cents a year ago.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – CapitaLand has posted an 89 per cent drop in net profit to $96.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2020, from $875.4 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to the impact of Covid-19 measures on its residential, retail and lodging businesses, the real estate giant said in a regulatory filing on Friday (Aug 7).

CapitaLand’s residential sales offices were forced to close, non-essential retail trades were unable to operate, and the occupancy of its lodging assets fell because of travel restrictions, it said. Tenant support measures in various markets, including government-mandated landlord obligations and the group’s own initiatives, were also a factor.

Earnings per share stood at 1.9 cents for the half year, down from 21 cents a year ago.

Revenue for the first half of 2020 fell 4.9 per cent to $2.03 billion, from $2.13 billion a year ago. This was mainly due to about $158.6 million in rent rebates granted by landlords to tenants in Singapore, China and Malaysia, and lower contributions from the group’s malls, residential projects and lodging businesses amid the pandemic.

The decrease was partially mitigated by consolidation of the Raffles City Chongqing project, and contributions from the Ascendas and Singbridge portfolio CapitaLand acquired in June 2019 – which contributed $341.5 million to group revenue.

No dividend was declared for the half year, unchanged from a year ago. CapitaLand pays only first and final dividends.

CapitaLand group chief executive Lee Chee Koon said the company’s balance sheet “remains in a strong position” and its long-term growth strategy is “intact”.

“We are on an active lookout for counter cyclical opportunities that will strategically uplift CapitaLand’s growth trajectory,” he said.

Asset recycling remains a key driver for the company’s return on equity, and it will look to opportunistically divest non-core assets and businesses, Mr Lee added.

CapitaLand shares ended flat at $2.76 on Thursday.

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