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STRONG FULL-YEAR GAINS: UOL still bullish on office rentals

OFFICE rents have been skyrocketing over the past 12 months but property group UOL Group reckons there will still be further rises to come.

The firm reported stellar full-year results yesterday. It said rents for retail space should benefit from high levels of employment, as well as strong tourist arrivals, although the pace of increase will moderate.

UOL is cautiously optimistic about the residential market and will launch three projects this year – Nassim Park Residences, Breeze by the East in the East Coast area and Green Meadows opposite Peirce Reservoir.

Its plans came with news yesterday of a 124 per cent jump in net profits to $758.9 million, on the back of a hefty revaluation gain.

The gain of $590.5 million on UOL’s investment properties boosted profit to such an extent that they exceeded revenue, which came in 18 per cent higher at $709.1 million for the 12 months to Dec 31.

Revenue from hotels was higher, due to improved numbers from hotels in Singapore, Australia and Vietnam. The inclusion of revenues from the former Negara on Claymore, now known as Pan Pacific Orchard, and subsidiary Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts, also helped.

Full-year earnings per share rose from 42.72 cents to 95.38 cents, while net asset value per share rose to $4.96 per share as at Dec 31 last year from $3.97 previously. A final dividend of 10 cents a share and a special dividend of five cents apiece were declared.


Source: The Straits Times 21 Feb 08


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