Eco World International's sales on track

Eco World International Bhd president and chief executive officer Datuk Teow Leong Seng.

PETALING JAYA: Eco World International Bhd (EWI) achieved RM433mil sales exchanges plus reserves of RM85mil, adding up to a total of RM518mil in the seven months period of its financial year ending Oct 31, 2024 (FY24).

In a statement, the property developer said it recorded a loss before tax of RM13.9mil in the second quarter of its current financial year (2Q24) compared to loss before tax of RM2.1mil in 2Q23.

It said this was mainly due to lower gross profit as stocks in its Australian projects are largely fully sold; impairment loss on amount owing by EcoWorld London as the joint venture continues to invest resources to procure better planning consents for its remaining projects; as well as lower foreign exchange gains from appreciation of the British Pound against the ringgit.

Including net cash balances at joint ventures, EWI said the group has a total cash balance of RM349mil as at April 30, 2024.

Premised on the healthy cash position, the board declared a first interim dividend of six sen per share for FY24, which translates to RM144mil.

According to president and CEO Datuk Teow Leong Seng, the group's sales are on track with the value of unsold completed stocks reduced to about RM400mil, of which its effective share is about RM300mil.

He added that the board is maintaining its target of generating excess cash of up to RM500mil - which will be distributed to shareholders in tranches over 2024 and 2025 - by selling its completed stocks.

"We are monitoring market conditions closely and finding ways to improve the profitability of our remaining projects.

"While the current environment is challenging, the UK real estate market nonetheless presents opportunities in the longer term, judging from the strong rental rates in London."

Teow said the group will proceed with launches when cost pressures stabilise and the expected returns of undertaking such launches can be forecast with greater certainty.

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