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Keppel Q2 Profit up 44 Percent

July 19, 2018

Singapore's Keppel Corp posted a 44 percent rise in its second-quarter profit, citing stronger earnings from its property and infrastructure divisions that offset losses in its other segments, including offshore and marine.

Keppel, whose businesses range from rig-building to property development, posted a net profit of S$246 million ($179 million)for the quarter ended June, versus S$171 million a year-ago.

Total revenue at the company, in which Singapore state investor Temasek is the biggest shareholder, was S$1.52 billion, slightly lower than the S$1.55 billion posted a year ago.

Profit at the company's property division rose 132 percent to S$225 million, helped by en bloc sales in some development projects and a fair value gain.

Its offshore and marine (O&M) division, which builds drilling rigs and support vessels, posted a loss of S$17 million versus a S$11 million profit last year.

Keppel said the division's order book stood at S$4.6 billion at end-June, excluding orders from Sete Brasil Participacoes SA, a Brazilian client that filed for bankruptcy protection.

Orders in some segments of its O&M business such as liquefied natural gas-powered vessels have been slowly picking up after slumping for two years on lower oil prices and a glut of rigs.

The recent rise in oil prices has prompted growing optimism in the O&M industry, but Keppel said the rig market continues to be weighed down by the oversupply.

"The recovery of the O&M business is expected to continue, but at an incremental pace," Chief Executive Loh Chin Hua said at the company's results briefing.

Keppel declared an interim dividend of 10 Singapore cents and a special divided of 5 Singapore cents, versus an interim divided of 8 Singapore cents last year.

Smaller competitor Sembcorp Marine (SMBMF) reports its results on Friday.

($1 = 1.3711 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Vyas Mohan)

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