Taipei, May 12 (CNA) Sinyi Realty Inc., one of Taiwan's leading real estate agencies, said it expected its earnings will improve month by month for the rest of this year as there have been signs that property transactions are on the rise, despite disappointing first quarter results.
In an investor conference held Friday, Sinyi Real Estate Chief Financial Officer Sandy Chou said that on the back of rising property transactions, its revenue for March regained momentum, compared with a month earlier, and the uptrend continued into April.
According to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Sinyi Realty's sales for April rose to NT$874.55 million (US$29.75 million) from NT$861.02 million recorded in March, when the monthly revenue jumped from February's NT$541.87 million.
In the first quarter, Sinyi Realty posted NT$174 million in net profit, down 54.16 percent from a quarter earlier and also down 46.63 percent from a year earlier.
Its earnings per share during the January-March period stood at NT$0.4, compared with NT$0.86 recorded a quarter earlier and NT$0.74 registered over the same period of last year.
Chou said the reduced profitability in the first quarter was the result of falling revenue with its sales down 9.14 percent from a quarter earlier and 22.51 percent lower than a year earlier at NT$1.67 billion.
In the first three months of this year, its gross margin reached 24.15 percent, down 15.47 percentage points from a quarter earlier and down 5.57 percentages from a year ago.
Chou said with monthly sales on the rise, its gross margin is expected to improve in the second quarter accordingly.
The executive said Sinyi Realty will set up 45 outlets in Taiwan by the end of this year to boost its total number of stores to 425 on the island, as the company aims for a larger market share.
She added that about half of the 45 new stores will open outside of the greater Taipei area as the company expected the property market outside greater Taipei will grow faster.
Currently, greater Taipei accounts for about 67 percent of the company's 380 outlets in Taiwan, and other areas make up the remaining 33 percent.
Chou said Sinyi Realty's China operations remained mired in the red in the first quarter, but the company still continued to push for a plan to establish a construction division on the mainland.
Chou said the branch in Japan made an impressive performance in the first quarter, contributing more than NT$10 million in net profit to Sinyi Realty.
(By Wei Shu and Frances Huang)