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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

LBS targets RM800mil sales this year

Interesting: LBS executive director Cynthia Lim, Datuk Lim Hock San and executive director Alan Chia (right) at the media briefing

PETALING JAYA: LBS Bina Group Bhd is eyeing RM800mil and RM950mil in sales of its properties for this and next year respectively, after raking in RM664mil last year and RM422mil in 2010, according to managing director Datuk Lim Hock San.

Its unbilled sales was RM649mil as at Dec 31, 2011, which could be realised when construction was completed, Lim told a media briefing.

Lim cited a tougher external environment, competition and more stringent lending regulations issued by Bank Negara as challenges, but said he believed the company's portfolio of medium to high-end residential properties would be key to achieving its sales target this year.

“As far as I'm concerned, the Malaysian property market will be alright,” he said, adding that demand for property would remain strong although prices would increase at a lower rate.

Starting Jan 1, banks are required to use net income to calculate the debt-service ratio for loan approvals across all consumer loan products including housing and personal loans.

This year, LBS will launch 16 projects valued at RM1.5bil. The company has a land bank of some 2,300 acres worth RM9.1bil in gross development value and ongoing projects worth RM665mil.

On the progress of LBS' development in Zhuhai, southern China, Lim said it would not get off the ground this year due to high inflation and property prices, which were likely to push back construction on its 197-acre plot to next year.

Lim added that LBS had been approached for a property venture in Sabah but said the company would not consider taking up any offers unless they were “very attractive opportunities.”

Of its targeted sales for residential properties, 36% is expected to come from its medium-range Bandar Saujana Putra homes, 34% from its medium-to-high-end homes, and 30% from its high-end development D'Island Residence.

An analyst told StarBiz that LBS' targets were realistic based on its pipeline, and that sales would be anchored by the resort-style D'Island Residence in Puchong.

He said landed properties could still see resilient take-up rates, even though prices might decline in view of the weaker economic sentiment.

Meanwhile, shareholders have approved a share buy-back of up to 10% of the company's issued and paid-up share capital at its EGM yesterday.

For the quarter to Sept 30, 2011, LBS' revenue was up 56.8% to RM125mil from a year ago while net profit surged 95.8% to RM8mil backed by sales of its properties in D'Island Residence, Bandar Saujana Putra along with commercial and industrial projects.

LBS shares ended one sen higher at 78.5 sen yesterday, with 593,600 shares traded.

By The Star

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