HIGHER profits from its development segment helped construction group Low Keng Huat (Singapore) rack up a 201 per cent surge in earnings last year.

The firm recorded net profit of $144.9 million for the 12 months to Jan 31, up from the $48.1 million a year ago.

Earnings for the fourth quarter rose by a whopping 816 per cent to $61.4 million.

Full-year revenue came in at $1.24 billion, well up on the $79.7 million from a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter was at $779.9 million, up from the $22 million previously.

The increase in turnover was due to the recognition of revenue from two development projects, Parkland Residences and Paya Lebar Square, said Low Keng Huat.

Parkland Residences is a residential project under the Housing Board's Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) in Punggol. Paya Lebar Square is an office building in Paya Lebar Road.

Both obtained their temporary occupation permits late last year.

The firm noted that the development revenue came mainly from sales of units at both projects, which totalled about $1.11 billion.

Only three DBSS units at Parkland Residences and eight office units at Paya Lebar Square remained unsold as at March 25.

Contributions from other segments, including associated companies and joint ventures, declined $1.3 million to $8.8 million, due mainly to the disposal of an investment property in Kuala Lumpur.

Earnings per share for the year came in at 19.62 cents, up from the 6.51 cents of the year before, while net asset per share stood at 82 cents, up from 65 cents previously. The group has proposed a final dividend of three cents per share, along with a special cash dividend of two cents. Both will be paid out on June 11.

Low Keng Huat shares closed half a cent up at 77 cents yesterday.