SHOPPING mall owner and operator CapitaMalls Asia has seen its first-quarter profits surge more than 800 per cent on the back of gains in key markets.
Its assets in Singapore, China and Malaysia helped push net profit for the three months to March 31 to $96.8 million, as compared to $10.3 million for the same period a year ago.
Revenue jumped by 41 per cent to $74.6 million, in contrast to $52.9 million the last time.
The growth was mainly due to the sale of The Orchard Residences apartments, fair value gains from the revaluation of Clarke Quay and Tianfu Mall in Chengdu, China, and a contribution from the Ion Orchard mall.
Chief executive Lim Beng Chee said: ‘Our overall portfolio performed strongly… and our Singapore portfolio continued to be a major contributor.’ Net property income for the firm’s operational malls was $234 million for the quarter – up 27 per cent from the year before – with the Singapore market being the largest contributor at $158 million.
The firm currently has 87 properties in its portfolio, of which 61 are completed and the remaining 26 under development in 48 cities, including Singapore, as well as in countries like China, Malaysia, Japan and India.
During the quarter – the first complete quarter since CapitaMalls Asia’s Nov 25 listing – it opened Anyang Mall in China with a committed occupancy of 78 per cent. The new mall has Wal-Mart as its anchor tenant and serves a catchment population of about half a million people.
The company has also started the divestment process of Clarke Quay.
Elsewhere, CapitaMalls Asia acquired Meili Mall and the Tianfu integrated development in Chengdu, China. This expands its portfolio in western China to 11 retail properties.
In the second quarter of this year, the firm expects to open two malls in Beijing and Harbin.
CapitaMalls Asia chairman Liew Mun Leong is upbeat about prospects, given the continued recovery of the Asian economy. ‘We are confident that retail consumption will remain strong in all our key markets,’ he said.
CapitaMall Asia’s earnings per share for the first quarter was 2.5 cents, an increase from 0.6 cent a year ago. The firm’s net asset value stood at $1.44. Yesterday, its shares closed one cent up at $2.30.
Source: Straits Times, 15 Apr 2010
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