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Saturday, March 3, 2012

UEM Land looks to expand land-bank in other locations

PETALING JAYA: After posting a stellar set of results, UEM Land Holdings Bhd is on the prowl again to expand its land-bank in other locations and diversify geographically in Malaysia and also regionally.

“Our business development division has been very busy with regional expansion, and we like what we see in Sabah and Sarawak,” said managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim.

“Some developers may have created their footprint in these locations, but it is never too late to venture into these states, as we can learn from past experiences,” he said.

He said the company was in advanced negotiations with some land owners and expected to get something on board this year.

Currently, the company owns about 3,640ha with a gross development value (GDV) of RM77bil, which mainly are located in the Nusajaya area in Johor.

He also said if UEM were to venture into a new location, it would do the projects on a joint-venture basis.

“We still have some land-bank in the Klang Valley out of the acquisition of Sunrise Bhd, and we have some 45 acres of land in Mont Kiara,” Abdullah said.

He said there were still a lot of projects in the pipeline, totalling more than RM30bil.

“We are in discussions with other government agencies to acquire strategic parcels around Penang and Kuala Lumpur, and we hope to be able to land some of these deals this year,” he said.

On the prospects for the Johor property industry, he said although there was a softening of prices in the industry as a whole, Johor was a different story altogether.

“Johor can leverage on its proximity to Singapore and also new product offerings that cater to not only a section of the market but also to the region and the world at large,” Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, the company just released its first full-year consolidated results after the merger between UEM and Sunrise, which showed a growth of 55% in net profit to RM301.7mil from RM194.5mil in 2010. The company has also set a net profit growth target of 40% for 2012, on the back of a 50% rise in revenue.

UEM still has unbilled sales totalling RM1.85bil as at Dec 31, 2011, and is aiming to achieve RM3bil in sales for 2012. Launches worth RM4.5bil in GDV are planned for this year.

By The Star

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