Sime Darby Property returns to the black in FY19

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 27, 2020.
Sime Darby Property returns to the black in FY19
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KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Property Bhd returned to profitability in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019 (FY19), posting a net profit of RM598.53 million thanks to higher contributions from property development and one-off gains on disposal of assets.

The group achieved RM3.1 billion in sales this year, exceeding its RM2.3 billion target by 35%, it said in a statement.

Last year, Sime Darby Property launched properties with a cumulative gross development value of RM2.3 billion and had unbilled sales of RM1.6 billion.

Projects that contributed to its performance include City of Elmina, Bandar Bukit Raja, Serenia City, Putra Heights, KL East and Cantara Residences.

According to a bourse filing, the one-off gains were largely from the sale of its leisure and hospitality properties amounting to RM245.5 million which offset against disposal obligations of RM65.8 million in relation to a property sold in FY17.

Meanwhile, its revenue swelled 30% to RM3.18 billion for the quarter from RM2.45 billion a year ago.

Earnings per share for FY19 stood at 8.9 sen, compared with a loss per share of 3.5 sen for the previous year.

Meanwhile, for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2019, it posted a net profit of RM102.95 million versus a net loss of RM347.5 million a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter rose 12.69% to RM888.93 million from RM788.81 million.

Sime Darby Property also declared a second interim dividend of two sen per share for FY19, payable on April 20, 2020.

Last year, it declared an interim dividend of one sen for FY18. It revised its financial year end to Dec 31 from June 30 previously.

FY19’s total dividend payout stood at three sen a share, from one sen declared at the end of FY18. For the six months ended June 30, 2018, it declared a total five sen dividend.

On its prospects, the group expects the property market to remain soft in 2020 due to the current property overhang and the expiry of the Home Ownership Campaign in 2019.

It added that the stimulus plan, which is expected to be announced by the interim prime minister today, should help maintain investor confidence and market sentiment.

“The group will focus on growing its core development business despite the challenges.”