Wednesday, July 21, 2010

KepLand Q2 net up 20% to $70m

The bottom line improved despite a 19% fall in revenue to $202.8m

KEPPEL Land plans to launch the first phase of a residential project next to Lakeside MRT station by the end of the year.

The development will have around 630 units, comprising one- to four- bedders. It will be on a 99- year leasehold site which the group won recently in a state tender.

Keppel Land said this yesterday as it released results for the second quarter ended June 30.

Net profit was $70.1 million, up 20 per cent year- on-year, driven by stronger performances across the property trading, property investment and fund management divisions.

The bottom line improved despite a 19 per cent fall in revenue to $202.8 million. Q2 earnings per share dipped 2 per cent to 4.9 cents.

For the first half, Keppel Land's net profit was $134.7 million, increasing 42 per cent from a year ago.

Revenue dropped 9 per cent to $361.6 million. H1 earnings per share rose 15 per cent to 9.4 cents.

Keppel Land has been launching projects in the last few months and will continue to do so.

In Singapore, it held a second preview of Marina Bay Suites in Q2 and sold about 40 units. It also sold 77 units at Reflections at Keppel Bay in H1.

According to caveats lodged with the Urban Redevelopment Authority in June, five units at Marina Bay Suites changed hands at $2,261-2,680 psf.

In China, Keppel Land sold around 1,200 units in H1, mainly from townships in second-tier cities such as The Botanica in Chengdu.

Although the Chinese government has imposed measures to cool the property market, 'we are still seeing resilience of demand for residential properties especially in middle-income homes in the second tier cities and suburban areas of first tier cities', said Keppel Land CEO Kevin Wong at a briefing yesterday.

Apart from launching units at the Lakeside project, Keppel Land will also release the remaining 90 units at Marina Bay Suites and 384 units at Reflections at Keppel Bay.

The group is not too worried about the recent slowdown in new private home sales.

'We don't have that many units left, and ours are in locations of choice,' said its chief financial officer Lim Kei Hin.

For high-end property, there is also room for prices to rise further as they have not reached pre-crisis levels, he added.

In China, Keppel Land will launch the 1,680-unit Seasons Park at Tianjin Eco-City. It also plans to roll out 260 units from 8 Park Avenue in Shanghai.

In the meantime, Keppel Land will be keeping an eye out for residential, commercial and mixed-use sites, said its CEO Mr Wong.

'We will continue to look for opportunities to build up our land bank in Singapore, whether it is through government land sales or private transactions.'

Keppel Land gained 10 cents yesterday to close at $4.21.

Source: Business Times, 21 Jul 2010

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