In view of today’s disruptive business environment, sustainability trends and the rise of green consumerism, companies should assess their performance beyond short-term returns and financial measurements. Stakeholders also increasingly expect corporations to go above and beyond profitmaking models, by contributing to society and being transparent about their business, supply chain and environmental impacts.

As a listed company, our priority has always been to create enduring shareholder value by taking a long-term view for growth. As a developer, a landlord and a corporate citizen, we have diligently delivered sustained earnings, embraced prudent financial management, capitalised on our resources and stayed focused on growth strategies.

MARKET REVIEW AND PERFORMANCE

For the year ended 31 December 2018 (FY 2018), the Group achieved a record revenue of $4.2 billion, an increase of 10.3% against the previous corresponding period (Restated FY 2017: $3.8 billion). Its net attributable profit after tax and non-controlling interest (PATMI) increased by 6.7% to $557.3 million (Restated FY 2017: $522.2 million). In terms of business segments, property development continued to be the lead contributor, making up 71% of FY 2018 pre-tax profits.

Its strong performance was underpinned by several local and overseas projects. In Singapore, New Futura, Gramercy Park, The Tapestry and The Criterion Executive Condominium (EC) anchored the contribution while the Group also benefitted from its overseas diversification strategy with profit recognition primarily from Hong Leong City Center in Suzhou and Park Court Aoyama The Tower in Tokyo.

The Group’s rental properties segment also reported an increase in both revenue and pre-tax profit, benefitting from two recently acquired investment properties in the UK and several one-off items such as a $29 million gain from the divestment of Mercure Brisbane and Ibis Brisbane by the Group’s indirect subsidiary, CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT) in Q1 2018, and a $12 million gain on the sale of a vacant shophouse plot at Jalan Besar in Q3 2018. Comparatively, in FY 2017, a $30 million gain was recognised on the sale of an office building in Osaka in Q3 2017.

The hotel operations segment, largely comprising the Group’s 65.2% subsidiary Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C), maintained its topline revenue contribution on par with FY 2017 though its pre-tax profits fell 73%, impacted by substantial impairment losses made on its hotels largely in the US. In addition, the full closure of Millennium Hotel London Mayfair in July 2018 for on-going refurbishment works to reposition it as a luxury flagship hotel also impacted the cash flow and profit from this segment as the hotel has been a substantial revenue and profit contributor to M&C.

The Group’s EBITDA increased 12.4% to $1.2 billion for FY 2018 (Restated FY 2017: $1.1 billion), bolstered by the strong recognition of profits from the property development segment. Basic earnings per share stood at 59.9 cents (Restated FY 2017: 56.0 cents).

Key Financial Information

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Year 2014 2015 2016 2017* 2018
Revenue $3,764 m $3,304 m $3,905 m $3,829 m $4,223 m
Tax paid $115 m $128 m $157 m $162 m $211 m
Staff costs $763 m $818 m $810 m $831 m $850 m
Profit before tax $1,004 m $985 m $914 m $763 m $876 m
PATMI $770 m $773 m $653 m $522 m $557 m
Return on equity 9.2% 8.6% 7.0% 5.6% 5.6%
Net asset value per share $9.25 $9.89 $10.22 $10.33 $11.07
Basic earnings per share 83.2 cents 83.6 cents 70.4 cents 56.0 cents 59.9 cents
Dividends
Ordinary dividend per share
– Final 8.0 cents 8.0 cents 8.0 cents 8.0 cents 8.0 cents1
– Special interim 4.0 cents 4.0 cents 4.0 cents 4.0 cents 60 cents
– Special final 4.0 cents 4.0 cents 4.0 cents 6.0 cents 60 cents1
Preference dividend per share 3.9 cents 3.9 cents 3.9 cents 3.9 cents 3.9 cents
* 2017 comparative figures were adjusted to take into account retrospective adjustments arising from the adoption of Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (International) (SFRS(I)) and International Financial Reporting Standards framework and new standards.
1 Final and special final tax-exempt (one-tier) ordinary dividends proposed for financial year ended 31 December 2018 will be subject to the approval of the ordinary shareholders at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting.