QUEK Leng Chan’s Singapore-listed property arm GuocoLand has posted a group net profit of $27.7 million for the first quarter ended Sept 30, 2007, up from $8.1 million for the corresponding year-ago period, as revenue more than doubled from $88.2 million to $191 million.
The improved showing was due mainly to higher contribution from the group’s property development projects in China, especially from West End Point condo in Beijing.
GuocoLand’s bottom line also received a fillip from other income, which jumped from $9.2 million to $15.8 million, mainly due to higher net foreign exchange gains arising from the revaluation of US dollar bank loans.
However, finance costs rose by 74 per cent to $12.6 million due to an increase in bank loans and the convertible bonds.
Cash and cash equivalents increased from $1.09 billion as at June 30 to $1.53 billion as at Sept 30, largely because of net proceeds of about $555 million received from a renounceable 1-for-3 rights issue at $2.50 per share in July this year.
GuocoLand also gave an update of its various projects. In Singapore, it achieved sales of 86 per cent for Le Crescendo in Paya Lebar and 91 per cent for The View @ Meyer as at Oct 18. The group has also sold 97 per cent of the 337 units launched in The Quartz condo in Buangkok.
In Beijing, the 810-unit West End Point is 96 per cent sold.
Piling for the group’s development sites situated in Nanjing’s Qixia District (Ascot Park Phase 1) and Shanghai’s Putuo District (Changfeng Phase 1) has been completed. Construction has started for Changfeng Phase 1. Resettlement for the development site in Nanjing’s Xuanwu District (Hillview Regency) is largely completed.
The group’s 65 per cent-owned subsidiary GuocoLand (Malaysia) Berhad has eight ongoing mixed residential development projects in the Klang Valley. Earthwork and piling for an integrated commercial development project in Damansara Heights is in progress.
In Vietnam, the master plan for the group’s integrated development project next to Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park near Ho Chi Minh City has been submitted to the authorities.
‘Given the robust economies in the countries in which the group operates, namely, Singapore, China, Malaysia and Vietnam, the group believes that demand for quality residential properties and well-located commercial properties in these countries will remain sustainable,’ GuocoLand said.
In Singapore, GuocoLand is expected to launch the 210-unit Goodwood Residence in the prime Bukit Timah area in the next few months.
GuocoLand’s earnings per share rose to 3.62 cents for Q1 ended September 2007, from 1.32 cents for the year-ago period. Net asset value per share stood at $2.37 as at Sept 30, seven cents higher than in June 30.
On the stock market yesterday, GuocoLand closed unchanged at $5.55.
Source : Business Times - 20 Oct 2007