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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I-Berhad eyes RM20m profit this year

I-BERHAD (I-Bhd), the first private initiative to be awarded MSC Cybercentre status, is looking to post RM20 million in profit in the current financial year ending December 31 2008, following the sale of the first phase of the i-City project.

The company - which recently phased out its electrical appliances business and moved into property development - last year posted a mere RM1.95 million in net profit on the back of RM4.07 million revenue.

"We are in talks with various parties, a couple of which are in the advance stage, for the sale of the first phase. We expect to formalise a deal for the sale by the third quarter of 2008," deputy chief executive officer Lim Boon Siong said at a press conference in Sydney, Australia, last week.

"If everything goes according to plan, we will definitely show better results," he said.
According to Lim, I-Bhd hopes to sell Phase 1, which consists of the 44-unit CityPark Cybercentre Office Suites, for about between RM400 and RM500 per sq ft. This would fetch the 300,000 sq ft building a price of between RM120 million and RM150 million.

He added that I-Bhd should get between RM15 million and RM20 million from the sale as profit. Once the building has been sold, I-Bhd wants to lease back the property so that it can control the tenant mix.

I-Bhd is building an intelligent city on 30.38ha of land in Shah Alam. The project, which will be completed in 2012, will have an estimated 7.5 million sq ft in built-up.

Asked if the the gross development value (GDV) of i-City would change given rising raw material costs, Lim said it would be able to make a better gauge in six months time.

"Initially our GDV was projected at RM1.5 billion. Subsequently, as our project got more exciting the GDV was estimated at RM2 billion. With the anticipated increases, our GDV could go up by 20 per cent to 30 per cent," he said.

This means the i-City GDV could be as high as RM2.6 billion for the components which include a shopping complex, office towers, serviced residences and hotels.

The first phase is expected to be fully operational by September.

By The Star (By Vasantha Ganesan)

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