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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

E&O Q4 net profit triples

E& Quayside project in Seri Tanjung Pinang

PETALING JAYA: Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) saw its net profit for the fourth quarter of its financial year ended March 31 more than triple to RM42.37mil from the RM13.73mil registered in the corresponding period last year.

The niche property developer said its encouraging earnings growth was mainly attributable to strong sales and higher revenue recognition as well as cost control initiatives.

E&O raked in a revenue of RM210.57mil for the quarter, up 78% from RM118.06mil a year earlier. Earnings per share (EPS) improved to 3.84 sen from 1.29 sen previously.

The company has proposed a final dividend of 4.25 sen per share, an improvement from the two sen it paid out in FY11.

On a cumulative basis, E&O’s net profit stood at RM123.46mil for FY12, almost quadruple from the RM32.21mil it registered for FY11. Revenue for FY12 rose about 81% to RM492.17mil from RM271.27mil in FY11.

EPS for FY12 improved to 11.29 sen from 3.04 sen in FY11.

In a statement, E&O said sales for the period under review stood at RM786.78mil, while unbilled sales were close to RM1bil as at March 31. Key contributors to sales included E&O’s landmark Quayside Seafront Resort Condominiums at Seri Tanjung Pinang, Penang, launched in 2010 and currently close to 90% sold.

By The Star

Foreign interest in RM48b project

GUOCOLAND (M) Bhd, the property arm of the Hong Leong group, hopes to start in 18 months work on the estimated RM48 billion Sepang International City, which is among the 21 new Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) projects sannounced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.

It is now in the midst of getting the approvals from both the Selangor and Federal governments and talking to international investors.

Managing director Yeow Wai Siaw said investors from East Asia, especially Japan, China and Singapore, are keen on investing in property development here, including Sepang International City.

Najib announced the project along with 20 new projects under the ETP here yesterday.

“Every developed nation needs a vibrant capital, and GuocoLand is one of the new project owners that will be part of ensuring this,” he said.

Najib added that GuocoLand has committed an investment of RM12.5 billion in the development of the Sepang International City, which is projected to generate RM1.34 billion in gross national income (GNI) and create more than 4,000 jobs.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Yeow said the Sepang International City will be a world-class and seafront development stretching across 1,600ha.

The development of the integrated and sustainable eco-city with a gross development value of RM48 billion will include commercial, business, residential and leisure development.

Another project announced yesterday was the RM1.57 billion committed investment by Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd to develop sustainable competitiveness in shipbuilding and ship repair.

"We will start from 2014 and hope to train at least 100 technicians annually until 2020 to meet not just our own requirements but the industry, too," said managing director Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor.

He said the project will involve a plan to move up the value chain of the shipbuilding and ship repair industry by developing local design and systems engineering capability and skilled shipyard human capital.

The project contribution to GNI will be about RM537.24 million by 2020 and will create 1,043 jobs by then.

By Business Times

Guocoland to invest RM12.5b in eco-city

PETALING JAYA: Hong Leong Group's property arm Guocoland (M) Bhd will invest RM12.5bil under the Greater Kuala Lumpur National Key Economic Area for the development of a 4,000-acre eco-city in Sepang.

The gross development value of the Sepang International City is RM48bil and the project is expected to contribute RM1.34bil to the country's gross national income and create 4,712 jobs.

The investment is the biggest from a single Entry Point Project (EPP) partner under the new 21 Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) projects announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at an ETP Progress Update briefing yesterday.

Managing director Yeow Wai Siew said Guocoland was in the midst of getting the approvals for construction works to begin.

“We are now going through the proper application and planning stage with the Federal and State Governments. Hopefully we will be able to start the development in one-and-a half years' time,” he said.

Yeow said Guocoland was also talking to international investors for the project. “There are a lot of investors from East Asia now, especially from Japan and China, with some from Singapore,” he said.

He noted that since Japan's March 2011 tsunami disaster, Japanese investors had been looking abroad for property that they could use for emergencies.

The seafront development in the southern corridor of Selangor will include commercial, business, residential and leisure developments, a hub for institutions of higher learning and a large world-class urban park modelled after the Central Park in New York City.

By The Star

Dijaya wins BCI Asia Top 10 Developers Award

Award recognition: Dr Krups (left) presenting the award to Tong.

Property developer Dijaya Corporation Berhad (Dijaya) was awarded the BCI Asia Top 10 Developers Award 2012 at the BCI Asia Awards 2012 ceremony on May 22 in Kuala Lumpur.

This award is a testimony to Dijaya’s ongoing endeavour to strengthen its Tropicana branding and create high-quality and innovative property developments in which people want to work, live and play.

This year, Dijaya is part of the top 10 Malaysia developers whose combined portfolios contain US$3bil (RM9.4bil) worth of properties.

Dijaya managing director Datuk Tong Kien Onn received the award from BCI Asia chairman Dr Matthias Krups.

Now into its eighth year, the BCI Asia Awards is a regional event attended by the industry’s top architects and building professionals in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

This event highlights key industry players that enable the market to better understand the important roles the organisations play as well as their impact, both socially and on the environment.

The BCI Asia Top 10 Developers Award recognises key industry players in the country.

By The Star

Mah Sing Q1 net soarson Greater KL projects

Mah Sing Group Bhd, one of the country's top developers, said its first quarter net profit surged by 46 per cent to RM59.9 million on the back of a 47 per cent growth in revenue to RM457.7 million.

The group attributed the growth largely to its property development projects in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

In a statement issued yesterday, Mah Sing said it has achieved slightly over RM1 billion in property sales as at May 15 2012, marking 40 per cent of its RM2.5 billion target for 2012.

Its property development projects in Greater Kuala Lumpur contributed 82 per cent to the sales. Johor Baru and Penang contributed 10 per cent and eight per cent, respectively.

The stock closed one sen higher yesterday to RM1.98.

Meanwhile, the group's unbilled sales stood at RM2.28 billion during the first quarter ended March 31 2012, or 1.8 times the revenue recorded from its property development division last year.

"We have planned our product mix in line with the market demand, as evidenced by the strong take up, for example, our township development of Kinrara Residence did very well when we launched our semi-detached homes and bungalows.

"This shows that there is continued demand for landed residential properties in good location, especially in gated and guarded schemes," said Mah Sing group managing director and group chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.

Leong said the group's newly launched mass market township, M Residence@Rawang, also showed robust take up, reflecting market demand for affordable housing.

In the high rise segment, there was strong demand for smaller units of affordable serviced residences, he said.

Leong said Mah Sing is sitting on a cash pile of RM581 million, giving it a healthy landbank war-chest and a chance to buy more land for new developments.

As at May this year, Mah Sing has achieved 73 per cent of its landbanking target this year by making three key buys in Rawang, Bandar Baru Bangi and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

By Business Times

Mah Sing Q1 earnings up on sales volume

KUALA LUMPUR: Mah Sing Group Bhd’s earnings increased by 45.5% to RM59.9mil in the first quarter ended March 31 from RM41.17mil a year ago due to strong sales volume.

Its revenue rose 46.8% to RM457.77mil from RM311.75mil. Earnings per share were 7.20 sen from 4.95 sen.

The group has achieved property sales of slightly above RM1bil as of May 15 or 40% of its 2012 full year sales target of RM2.5bil.

The group also has strong earnings visibility, with unbilled sales of about RM2.48bil as of March 31 or 1.8 times the revenue recognised from the property development division in 2011.

Balance sheets remained strong, with high cash pile at RM581.1mil and net gearing at 0.33 as of March 31.

Some of the property development projects that contributed to revenue and profit during the year included township developments in the Klang Valley like Garden Residence, Clover @ Garden Residence, and Garden Plaza in Cyberjaya, Kinrara Residence in Puchong and Aman Perdana in Meru - Shah Alam.

The positive growth was also contributed by its niche developments such as Perdana Residence 2 in Selayang, One Legenda, Hijauan Residence, and Bayu Sekamat in Cheras, and small units of serviced residences in M-City and M-Suites in Jalan Ampang, as well as Icon Residence in Mont’ Kiara.

Group managing director cum group chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum said the group had planned its product mix in line with the market demand, as evidenced by the strong take upin its township development of Kinrara Residence which consisted of semi-detached homes and bungalows.

“This shows that there is continued demand for landed residential properties in good location, especially in gated and guarded schemes coupled with the established infrastructure and amenities.

“The same can be said of Clover@Garden Residence which comprises mostly semi-detached homes, with limited units of superlinks and bungalows. Buyers will be able to get a better picture of the two storey and three storey semi-detached homes when our show units are completed in June,” he said in statement yesterday.

By The Star

Boustead earnings rise 22% on higher revenue

PETALING JAYA: Boustead Holdings Bhd's net profit rose 22.4% to RM144.6mil for the first quarter ended March 31, from RM112.2mil a year earlier, on higher revenue.

The diversified conglomerate saw its revenue rise to RM2.4bil from RM1.6bil a year ago.

Boustead is involved in six key sectors of the economy, namely plantations, heavy industries, properties, finance and investment, trading, and manufacturing and services.

Earnings per share of the group improved to 13.98 sen for the first quarter compared with 10.85 sen a year earlier.

Boustead said all its business divisions recorded an increase in revenue during the quarter.

Its manufacturing and trading division saw higher sales volume, resulting in a 23% increase in revenue to RM1.26bil, while its pharmaceutical division's revenue rose sharply to RM446.7mil from RM28.7mil a year ago, reflecting the consolidation of Pharmaniaga Bhd.

Boustead's plantations division, however, saw only a marginal increase in revenue to RM263.8mil from RM254.4mil previously, as lower palm product prices trimmed the gains of a higher crop. Its cumulative fresh fruit bunches crop totalled 282,171 tonnes, up 11% from a year ago, but the average palm oil price was only RM3,143 per tonne, down RM398 or 11% from RM3,541 per tonne in the corresponding period last year.

For the first quarter, the plantation division contributed a slightly lower pre-tax profit of RM92.2mil, compared with RM99mil a year ago due to lower palm product prices.

Boustead's finance and investment division posted a cumulative pre-tax profit of RM26.1mil for the first quarter, up from RM11.9mil a year ago, largely on higher profit contribution from Affin Group.

Its property division also registered higher pre-tax profit of RM40.4mil compared with RM12.2mil a year ago. This was attributable to the gains from the sale of land.

The only division that saw a deficit was its heavy industries, with a pre-tax loss of RM5.4mil due to losses at the commercial shipbuilding segment and the fact that work on the second-generation patrol vessels have yet to move into full swing.

Given its overall positive results, Boustead declared an interim dividend of 7.5 sen for the first quarter, which was an improvement from eight sen a year ago.

For the coming quarters, Bousted expects its plantation division to perform well on positive outlook for crude palm oil prices. It also expects its pharmaceutical division to continue registering good growth.

As for its property division, Boustead said it expected the Surian Residences in Mutiara Damansara, which was already 98% sold and expected to be completed in mid-2013, to be the main revenue contributor for the division.

Its hotels and retail mall operations, on the other hand, are expected to perform satisfactorily.

Earnings at its trading and manufacturing division for the remainder of the year, Boustead said, would be driven by its BHPetrol operations.

By The Star