– 1Q23e earnings below expectations, at 11% of our estimates. Revenue was in line with our estimates, as we accounted for a seasonally weak 1H23 that was further weighed down by the Heightened Safety period that was in place. Margins however, were ~1% below our estimates as escalating costs, particularly for labour and energy weighed along with more competition for new contracts, as the industry competed to overcome the shortfall in delivery volumes.
– Heightened Safety period extended by another three months. As a result of the Heightened Safety period imposed by the MOM, local construction projects are, in general, progressing slower than expected. The time-outs and punitive measures imposed on the sector have slowed construction progress. We expect the Heightened safety period to continue to weigh on earnings for 9M23 after the MOM extended the Heightened Safety period by another three months till end-May.
+ Construction order book remained healthy at $1.4bn (vs $1.4bn in 4Q22), above our $1.35bn estimates. Strong demand for public housing and infrastructure projects in Singapore continued to boost the Group’s order books. BRC Asia is benefitting from the backlog of projects that were postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic and the higher number of public housing projects that are being launched to meet demand. The construction sector is also recovering at a faster pace with 4Q22’s growth at 10.4% YoY vs 7.8% in the preceding quarter. We estimate that half of its order book will be fulfilled within the next 15-18 months.