KEPPEL Land, Singapore’s third-largest developer by market value, yesterday said that net profit for its third quarter more than doubled on strong home sales and higher office rents.
Net profit for the three months ended Sept 30, 2007, hit $81.8 million, up 112.7 per cent from the $38.5 million recorded a year ago.
Earnings per share rose 111.1 per cent to 11.4 cents, from 5.4 cents a year ago.
Profit was boosted by a 49.4 per cent increase in turnover to $382 million - from $255.6 million a year ago - which KepLand attributed mainly to robust residential sales in Singapore and abroad.
The developer saw higher revenues from Park Infinia at Wee Nam, The Suites at Central and Freesia Woods in Singapore. It also reported higher revenues from 8 Park Avenue and The Seasons in China and Elita Promenade in India. KepLand also saw maiden revenue contribution from its newly launched Villa Riviera in China.
Rental income from the group’s office buildings was also higher compared to the third quarter of 2006, KepLand said.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2007, KepLand’s net profit rose 74.1 per cent to $207.3 million, while turnover climbed 71 per cent to $1.04 billion.
Earnings per share rose 73.5 per cent to 28.8 cents.
KepLand sold a total of 750 homes in Singapore in the first nine months of 2007, it said.
Strong sales were achieved at Reflections at Keppel Bay, with all 600 launched units sold.
As a result, profit from Singapore grew a significant 184.6 per cent to $134.6 million for the first nine months of the year.
With the increase, the proportion of group profit from Singapore expanded to about 65 per cent, as compared to 40 per cent for the same period in 2006.
Going forward, KepLand, together with joint venture partners Cheung Kong Holdings and Hongkong Land will launch the 223-unit Marina Bay Suites early next year on the back of hot demand for private homes.
Official data shows that private home prices have climbed 22.6 per cent since the start of the year. Said KepLand: ‘The group will release other prime residential projects in tandem with market demand.’
The developer also added that it will benefit from rising office rents in Singapore, both through its own properties and through its listed trust K-Reit Asia.
Grade A office rentals hit $14.90 per square foot (psf) per month in the third quarter, up 70.7 per cent from $8.73 psf at end- 2006, according to data from CB Richard Ellis. KepLand owns about 40 per cent of K-Reit.
KepLand also said it sold more than 2,200 homes overseas in the first nine months of the year - mainly in China and India.
And riding on the strength of the overseas markets, the developer hopes to launch several new projects in China, Vietnam and India in the fourth quarter of 2007.
KepLand’s shares rose five cents to close at $8.25 yesterday. The stock has climbed some 19.6 per cent since the start of the year.
Source : Business Times - 24 Oct 2007