UEM Sunrise posts revenue of RM195.85mil in first quarter

Managing director/chief executive officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said about 90% of the projects launched last year, in terms of gross development value (GDV), was offered to the market in the second half of 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: UEM Sunrise Bhd posted revenue of RM195.85mil in the first quarter ended March 31 compared with RM419.26mil a year ago.

Managing director/chief executive officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib (filepic below) said about 90% of the projects launched last year, in terms of gross development value (GDV), was offered to the market in the second half of 2019.

This led to lower revenue as the ongoing construction works were at the early stages of progress during the period under review.

In a statement to Bursa, the company posted a net loss of RM21.94 mil for the first quarter ended March 31,2020 (Q1’20) from a net profit of RM30.1mil in the same period last year.

The group said the recorded loss for the quarter was mainly due to the impact of foreign exchange losses amounting to RM18mil arising from the weak Australian dollar and South African Rand.

As at March 31, the company’s unbilled sales stood at RM1.8bil which would be substantially recognised over the next two financial years.

Moving forward, Anwar said the group would focus on further strengthening its balance sheet to enable the company to ride out the turbulence.

“Our balance sheet must be strong so that we can work towards normalising profitability.

“Our cash and bank balance of RM864mil gives us assurance when cash is required whilst our low net and gross gearing of 0.35 times and 0.47 times, respectively provide headroom to raise funds and borrow more, should such opportunities avail, ” he said.

He noted that the company’s untapped credit facilities stood at RM1.9 billion as of the end of the quarter including sukuk of RM1.4 billion.

“We continue to explore the acquisition of strategic landbanks both local and overseas for the sustainability of the business and remain steadfast in selling non-strategic lands to raise additional cash.

“We also target to reduce operating expenses through a cost optimisation exercise. On top of that, the incentives under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) coupled with the current low-interest-rate regime, should augur well for the property market ahead, ” he said. The company foresees that its earlier sales and GDV targets of RM2bil each for 2020 are likely to be impacted by the economic uncertainty and is evaluating the targets pending the finalisation of its numbers.— Bernama

Separately, the company also issued a statement that it has acquired a 1.33 acre site at 21-53 Hoddle Street, Collingwood, Melbourne for AU$43 million (RM1=AU$2.93).

The site was purchased from Jowett Properties. It will be developed into a mixed-use development.

It recently completed its AU$800 million flagship Australian project, Aurora Melbourne Central in the Melbourne CBD.

He said the Melbourne commercial and residential sector continues to remain strong despite challenges

posed by COVID-19, with the Victorian government committed to ongoing development and approval of shovel-ready projects. -- BERNAMA

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