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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

LBS Bina banking on new project launches this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer LBS Bina Group Bhd is banking on new project launches and a large land bank to record better financial results in the fiscal year ending December 31 2012.

As at April 29 this year, LBS clocked in property sales of RM357.6 million, and as at end-March, it roped in an unbilled sales of RM693 million.

LBS managing director Datuk Lim Hock San said with a strong outlook this year, the group will be launching 14 projects, comprising 2,812 units with a gross development value (GDV) of RM1.69 billion, together with some 22 ongoing projects with a GDV of RM1.81 billion.

These include projects in D' Island Residence, Bandar Saujana Putra, Taman Golden Hills in Cameron Highlands and Bandar Putera Indah in Batu Pahat Johor.

"With a land bank of some 920ha worth an estimated GDV of RM9.3 billion, the group is confident of achieving further improvement in its performance for the financial year ending December 31 2012," he said in a statement.

LBS reported a post-tax profit of RM38 million on the back of RM449 million revenue for the financial year ended December 31 2011.

These represent a 46 per cent and 32 per cent increase in post-tax profit and revenue respectively, recorded in the preceding year.

The company attributed the improved performance to progressive recognition of revenue and profit contribution from its ongoing projects with good take up rates, such as D' Island Residence and The Lake Residence in Puchong; Topaz III & IV, Ivory Residences I and II, Indigo Homes, Magenta Homes and Lavender II in Bandar Saujana Putra (BSP), as well as other commercial and industrial projects, such as Taman Perindustrian Tasik Perdana in Puchong and Saujana Business Park in BSP.

LBS board of directors has recommended a first and final dividend of 2.5 sen per share, amounting to RM9.6 million. The proposed dividend is subject to shareholders' approval at the upcoming meeting.

"Our previous crisis brought us back to our roots, prompting us to revisit our values and reset our goals.

"We have committed ourselves to strive for growth in knowledge, capability, performance, value and responsibility.

"The rebranding we conducted last year was essential to the group's transformation and we will continue undertaking a series of progressive changes to achieve our long-term goal of being a formidable international player," Lim said.

By Business Times

Hunza's Gurney Paragon stands out among the crowd

GEORGE TOWN: Property development in Penang is moving at a feverish pace with buyers crazy over owning prestigious addresses like Gurney Drive and all the way up from Tanjung Tokong to Batu Ferringhi.

Against such a backdrop, it is crucial for property players to introduce value-added development and feature attractive points to stand out among competitors, just like Gurney Paragon, an iconic development along Gurney Drive.

Sited on a freehold land measuring 4.08ha, Gurney Paragon is an integrated development comprising two blocks of high-end condominiums, an office block, St Joseph's Novitiate (St Jo's), three-storey podium retail lots and a shopping mall of about one million sq ft of retail space.

The attraction is that the development surrounding St Jo's, a heritage masterpiece, will be used to host events such as meetings, weddings and conventions.

Developed by Hunza Properties Bhd, a well established property developer in the northern region, Gurney Paragon is the most eagerly awaited shopping centre by Penangites and foreigners.

Hunza executive chairman Datuk Khor Teng Tong said the development of Gurney Paragon was in line with the group's plan to transform itself from a property developer to one which is also a real estate landlord.

"Hunza is expecting rental income from Gurney Paragon beginning next year of between 10 and 12 per cent earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation returns on investment in the first three years.

"The rental income stream from the mall will enable Hunza to have a strong base for recurring income," he said.

Khor said approximately 40 per cent of the Gurney Paragon integrated development (two blocks of condominium) was for sale and the remaining 60 per cent would be kept for long-term investment.

He said the shopping mall, office tower, St Jo's and three-storey podium retail lots would be owned, managed and operated by Hunza, adding that the residential segment, comprising 220 units, were 90 per cent sold.

By Bernama

Superstar eyes Penang property

HONG KONG superstar Simon Yam likes Penang so much that he plans to buy a holiday home for his family on the island.

The internationally acclaimed actor described the island as a “beautiful and happy” place during his visit to launch Canon’s ‘Eye on Canon’ showcase at Gurney Plaza in George Town.

“My last visit was about five years ago and I can notice some changes. I hope I’ll be able to find a suitable property here where I can bring my family for holiday.

“I can play some golf while there are other scenic destinations like the Butterfly Park for my daughter,” Yam, who is also the camera’s brand ambassador, said yesterday.

He also likened the sea here to the one in Maldives.

“I notice the sea water is cleaner and there are also new properties around.

“This city and the happy faces here make me feel very relaxed.

“Not only that, the old structures are still maintained which brings back nostalgic memories of Hong Kong in the old times.

“For me, Penang is the warmest (welcoming) place in Malaysia. My favourite food here is oh chien (pan fried oysters)!” he said yesterday.

Yam also said he hoped to be able to make a film in Malaysia, preferably a romantic movie.

On cameras, the 57-year-old father-of-one, who is also an avid photographer related the loss of his two mobile phones about two weeks ago which contained many precious moments of his daughter as well as family.

“I went for a jog and I lost my phones. I was busy then and didn’t have time to transfer the photographs so I didn’t have any back up!

“So now, I’ve vowed to use Canon’s Ixus 510HS because I can immediately send photographs via WiFi,” he said.

He also said he has three upcoming films to make including one that also stars Hollywood star Keanu Reaves in the “Man of Tai Chi”.

Earlier, camera flash lights flared as eager shutterbugs caught sight of Yam when he arrived.

When a fan asked for photographs, he cheekily challenged her for a “scissor, paper, rock” game before she was able to take a photograph with him.

A hardcore fan, Lim Hong Zheng, 26, was also seen wearing a specially printed T-shirt with Yam’s name and image as well as a custom-made puzzle of the star at the session.

Yam then invited him to come on stage and gave a special gift.

“I’m really flattered that Yam would invite me on stage and even offer to take photographs with me!” the freelance photographer said.

Yam later visited the EOS Boutique in Burma Road for another session with fans who took photographs with him and asked for autographs.

The Eye on Canon showcase to celebrate Canon’s 25th anniversary started yesterday and will be held until May 6, from 10am to 10pm daily.

Canon Marketing (Malaysia) imaging communication products division director Simon Wong said in line with the company’s corporate philosophy, RM10 from each camera sale at the events in Mid Valley

and Gurney Plaza will go to the Yayasan Sunbeams Home for children.

There are exciting promotions, discounts, instant cash rebates of

up to 25% on selected models,

purchase-with-purchase (PWP) for lenses on selected EOS models and lucky draws with Canon products worth RM10,000 awaiting visitors.

There are also the not-to-be-missed RM25 deal for 25 units of selected camera models.

The first 100 early birds to purchase selected Canon EOS models will also receive the Canon limited edition miniature Hansa camera, the very first commercial camera produced by the company in 1936.

By The Star

Theme park in Nusajaya expected to open its doors in September

ASIA’S first Legoland theme park — Legoland Malaysia — in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia, Johor is set to open its doors to visitors on Sept 15.

Legoland Malaysia general manager Siegfried Boerst said work on the park is now approximately 75% completed with most of the rides and infrastructure already installed.

He said, in March contractors began work on “theming” the park and next month they would begin the installation of 50 million Lego bricks and models into the park.

“We are ready to welcome one million visitors through our gates in the first year of operations or between 10,000 and 15,000 daily,’’ said Boerst.

He was speaking to Malaysian and Singaporean journalists during a site visit recently.

The US$200mil (RM608 mil) theme park on a 30.75ha site will cater to families with children from two to 12 years old with 40 rides, shows and attractions.

Many of the rides are hands-on, so visitors can push, pull, pedal, programme, steer, squirt, splash, crawl, climb and build for a full-day of non-stop fun.

“The park is divided into seven theme areas, with each area designed for children to explore and enjoy all the activities,’’ said Boerst.

The theme areas are called The Beginning, Lego City, Miniland, Land of Adventure, Imagination, Lego Kingdom and Lego Technic.

He said what sets Legoland apart from other theme parks is the “interactivity and participation to stimulate the imagination and creativity of children”.

Boerst said the combined components of play, bonding, and experiencing while creating would allow children to share the values with their friends and peers.

“This offers unique opportunities for families to bond and strengthen relationships in today’s world dominated by digital gadgets,’’ he added.

Boerst said the response to the park’s pre-opening promotional drive, which began in January, was good with 35,000 annual passes sold online by the closing date on April 16 .

He said the figure was the highest ever recorded for the sale of pre-opening annual passes for any of the Legoland theme parks.

Boerst said 60% of the passes were bought by Malaysians and the remaining 40% by foreigners, with Singaporeans making up the majority of foreign buyers and the rest from other countries.

Other Legoland theme parks are Legoland Billund in Denmark, Legoland Windsor outside London, Legoland Deutschland near Gunzburg, Germany and Legoland California and Florida in the United States.

There are also plans to open a Legoland Hotel on a 0.97ha site next to Legoland Malaysia in 2014. The hotel will also be the first in Asia and the fourth Legoland Hotel.

The other Legoland Hotels are located in Billund and Windsor, with a third one set to open in California next year.

Legoland Malaysia is a joint-venture project between Iskandar Investment Bhd and Merlin Entertainments Group — the world’s second-largest operator of visitor attractions.

Merlin Entertainments operates 78 attractions, six hotels, two holiday villages in 17 countries and across four continents. The company runs, among others, Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, The London Eye, Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower Eye and Skywalk, Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventure.

By The Star