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Straco full year results: Good Singapore Flyer performance, falling China Visitors

The last update for Straco was the impending revision to the ticket prices for their aquariums. That would have provided a good growth for their cash flow.

This week the full year results was announced.

Current Share Price: SG$0.80

Outstanding number of shares: 855 mil

Market Cap: SG$684 mil

Dividend per share: SG$0.025 (3.1% Dividend Yield)

Full year revenue rose from 93 mil to 127 mil on the back of significant contribution from the Singapore Flyer.

Full year net profit rose from SG$39 mil to SG$51.8 mil. This gives an earnings yield of 7.6% (note this is total net profit but shareholders’ profit is lesser at SG$49 mil)

In terms of free cash flow, Straco generated SG$59.85 mil in 2015. Based on current market cap, the free cash flow yield is 8.75%.

As a full year earnings profile Straco have continue to generate cash flow very well.

Since the acquisition of the Flyer, its capital expenditure have fallen from SG$116 mil to SG$3.8 mil. This is somewhat inline with FY2012 capital expenditure of SG$1.1 mil. This is the period where capital expenditure wasn’t earmarked for the flyer acquisition.

We can see here that the beauty of the business is very little maintenance capex needed for generating a lot of cash flow.

Straco Cash net of Debt:

FY2012: $96 mil

FY2013: $108 mil

FY2014: $19 mil

FY2015: $63 mil

Since cash flow is positive, we are seeing Straco’s cash holding rapidly restored closer to former levels.

If we backed out the $63 mil net cash, the  respective earnings yield and free cash flow yield becomes 8.3% and 9.6%.

Rise in Dividend per Share

Straco decided to pay out more dividends, rising the dividend to SG$0.025 from SG$0.02.

This represent 43.66% payout of total earnings.

Flyer Performance

The above table shows the segmental result for Straco. The GOW represents Giant Observation Wheel (what a freaking name).

The management initially targeted a 10% ROA on their investments. However, they guided that it would probably take a few years to get that performance.

There was so much freaking doubt when they first bought the flyer (which I covered here) because most flyers have been bad business as a whole, with the exception being the London Eye. That in itself have a poor operating problem at the start.

The ROA is 7.7% which is a very good results considering they are just cutting the fats.

I think it reflects more on how badly the flyer was originally managed then how good Straco did.

The net profit margin for the Flyer is pretty good as well. (Take a look at the aquarium’s profit margin, they are ridiculous)

There are likely to be more tweaking and capital expenditure on the Flyer. When Singapore Tourism Board has a view on this, it is likely they would expect some plans for the development of the Flyer, and how Straco would make use of the shops around the flyer.

I got news that Jumbo Seafood will be replacing the Chinese restaurant there and that is the kind of brand name that fits the Flyer because the Flyer currently does not have complementary amusement that they can feed off.

Jumbo Seafood enjoys lower rent primarily because they can still thrive in less prime places (read non-REIT places)

The strategy for Straco could well be having these complementary things near the Flyer so that the visitors go up. The revenue from the tickets probably worth more than the rental income.

When I chance upon a property developer’s presentation on the plans for that area, we could see that area being developed with a certain theme, and that could bode well for the Flyer’s future as well.

Overall this is a great result, despite the challenging tourism climate in Singapore.

Poor Aquarium Results

What was masked by the good performance of the Flyers contribution was that the visitorship of Shanghai Aquarium and UWX have fallen.

This is big to me considering the last time visitors fell was the year after a major Shanghai convention event in FY2011.

We keep hearing about China slow  down these few years but the impact have been minimal.

Shanghai aquarium have been in a prime location and thus rather insulated there.

The fall in visitors also happened before the unknown that is Shanghai Disneyland which will open up in mid of this year.

UWX have been rather affected by the number of visitors restriction placed by the authorities.

The cash flow from aquariums is a significant contributor to Straco, more so than the Flyer.

And since Straco have rather high operating leverage, that could work in the opposite direction when visitor-ship drops.


Taking a bird’s eye view of Straco as a business, there are still a lot of merits that I like. This is enhanced further by the execution of the restructuring of the Flyer.

It is always good that you have management that knows how to manage things, and evaluates deals that turned out to be profitable. Raising the dividends appropriately to reward shareholders is also a plus point.

At current prices, the free cash flow yield is attractive, but I wonder if the future growth is intact.

Since the current value is a summation of future cash flow, a lot of our estimation of current intrinsic value is based on future growth of the free cash flow. Here is the unknown there.

I would take a break from Straco. I remained invested but have pared down to evaluate my options. Writing this piece cleared my head. If I see no other options with a better return per unit risk, I would increase my holdings in Straco again.

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Saturday 27th of February 2016

good analysis. Having been with Straco since 30cents (i bought and sell for a few rounds), I am left with a very small holdings bought at 93.5 cents. Straco has a very strong growth numbers for many years now. But interest seems to be tapering off despite the same upbeat numbers.

Previously, visitation numbers were insulated from the general economy of China. Perhaps, it is starting to get affected now. Despite this, I believe strongly in China's switch to domestic consumption in the long run and Straco can benefit from it.

A question I would like to ask is earning is stripped of Flyer numbers, would the growth be that stellar?


Saturday 27th of February 2016

hi Benjamin, nice to see a fan of Straco there. if you are referring to straco less flyer, i assume you meant going forward. in that case this is a mystery. when i bought straco even at 60 something cents range that is with the view the aquarium can grow at good rates, something like 10% for 5 years and 3% perpetual. straco exceeded my expectations.

but we are familiar with what straco brings. disney land is also interesting. perhaps we are wrong here. the data would show for it. the idea that this slowdown is real is not just from this result but also crct and the upcoming china merchant pacific result.

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