May 13, 2010

Strong showing by CDL, SC Global

By Francis Chan

BUMPER home sales helped property developers City Developments (CDL) and SC Global Developments notch up healthy first-quarter profits.

CDL's net profit for the three months ended March 31 surged 68 per cent to $139 million, and SC Global's rose 28 per cent to $13.4 million.

However, UOL Group suffered a 74 per cent slide in net profit to $88 million, in the absence of major gains which inflated its bottom line in the same period a year earlier.

Backed by a stronger-than-expected economic performance, developers launched more than 4,000 private residential units in the first quarter of this year.

This reflected the confidence on the level of demand for properties and buyers did not disappoint as sales more than doubled compared with a year earlier at the peak of the financial crisis, said CDL.

CDL's revenue rose 20.6 per cent to $750.5 million. Earnings per share came in at 15.3 cents, up from 9.1 cents previously.

Property development remained the firm's main contributor. For instance, Cube 8, its 177-unit freehold development along Thomson Road, has been well received and all units have been sold, save for three penthouses.

Profits from its rental properties segment, which improved by 90.8 per cent due to the sale of its North Bridge Commercial Complex in March, also helped beef up earnings.

CDL said a dividend of 1.93 cents per preference share will be distributed on June 30.

SC Global, which was responsible for high-end projects like The Marq on Paterson Hill and Martin No. 38, recorded a 45 per cent jump in first-quarter revenues to $190.6 million.

The firm said in a statement yesterday that the strong performance was down to revenue from the group's projects in Singapore, and a higher contribution from its Australian unit, AVJennings.

Operating expenses were higher at $26 million, up from $21.7 million a year ago, mainly owing to higher staff costs, sales and promotion expenses. Earnings per share were 3.37 cents, up from 2.67 cents previously.

UOL posted a 27 per cent rise in first-quarter revenue to $249.2 million. Earnings per share fell to 11.2 cents, from 41.68 cents a year earlier.

The group said its two new projects - Double Bay Residences and [email protected] - have been fully sold.