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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GenCorp on track to complete S’pore hotel by 1Q10

KUALA LUMPUR: GENERAL CORPORATION BHD (GenCorp) is on track to complete the Hard Rock Hotel in Singapore, which is part of the Sentosa integrated hotel and casino resort, by the first quarter of next year.

GenCorp executive director Datuk Marco Low said despite the weak global economic conditions, “the owners of the project continue to support the project and are sticking to the date of completion”.

GenCorp subsidiary Low Keng Huat (Singapore) Ltd was awarded the S$346 million (RM845.73 million) hotel construction contract in April last year by Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd, a member of Genting International Group.

Then the expected completion date for the hotel was by December 2009, but that has since been changed to completion in two phases with phase, one by December 2009 and phase two within the first quarter of 2010.

Earlier this month, another casino owner, the Las Vegas Sands group announced the delay in the opening of its US$5.5 billion (RM19.41 billion) Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino resort in Singapore to January or February 2010 from December this year.

GenCorp’s other construction project announced at the same time as the The Hard Rock project, the S$146 million construction contract on the additions and alterations to the retail and hotel podium of the Meritus Mandarin Hotel at 333 Orchard Road is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The group, which derived 71.8% of its consolidated revenue of RM766 million for its financial year ended Jan 31, 2009 (FY09) from its Singapore operations, is also working on the S$295 million Serangoon Central Mall to be completed by end-2010.

GenCorp, which posted a RM64.93 million net profit in FY09, expects “earnings to be sustained” in the current financial year, said its executive director Michael Chong.

He said its 33-storey Panorama freehold luxury condominium project here had seen a 90% take-up rate since its launch in April last year. Construction on the project has started and it will contribute to earnings this year.

The Panorama, located near the Corus Hotel, is worth about RM300 million in gross development value and scheduled for completion by end-2010.

Malaysian operations are the second-highest contributor to group revenue, after Singapore, making up about 15% in FY09.

Going forward, the group plans to develop a 1.6ha (3.95-acre) freehold site in Jalan Conlay here for high-end condominiums.

Ongoing projects in Malaysia are the 25-unit “zero lot” bungalows at Taman Esplanad, Bukit Jalil, and 12 semi-detached luxury residences in Jalan U-Thant.

The group, which does not have any major landbank in Singapore, undertakes property development in the republic on a joint-venture basis. Its projects include One-North Residences and South Bank.

By The EDGE Malaysia (by Loong Tse Min)

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