Kuala Lumpur, 27 November 2015 – The past 6-month period of April to September 2015 has seen premier lifestyle property developer Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) locking in new property sales worth RM635 million while unbilled sales as at end-September stood at RM825 million.
Working within the current subdued property market conditions, E&O has been banking on its brand strength and established track record to continue drawing in sales for its properties in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Medini Iskandar and London.
E&O deputy managing director, Eric Chan Kok Leong said “We are operating in a tough market environment challenged by a host of factors that include the government’s cooling measures as well as other domestic and global uncertainties.
“Against such a backdrop, we have had to intensify our sales and marketing efforts to reach out to local and international clients. As shown by the sales numbers for the 6-month period since April, the results of these initiatives have been positive.”
Commenting on the prospects of the market, Chan said “While there may not be a marked change in the market situation in the short term, we are cognisant of the cyclical nature of the property market which warrants a longer- term perspective.”
He added, “Demand remains in the niche locations and for projects by developers offering strong concept, branding and delivery. We are responding to this with the upcoming launches of the second tower of The Tamarind and the second phase of Avira garden terraces.”
The Tamarind is E&O’s first executive apartments coming up in Seri Tanjung Pinang, Penang while Avira is the Group’s wellness-themed project developed in partnership with Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd in Medini, Iskandar Malaysia. Chan said these two projects are expected to be launched in second half of the financial year and are already recording a steady flow of registrants.
E&O also released its results for the first half of the 6-month financial period ended 30 September 2015 (1H FY2016). The Main Board-listed property developer reported to Bursa Malaysia today that it had achieved revenue of RM154.6 million and profit after tax (PAT) of RM47.7 million for 1H FY2016, with the bottomline of the Group improving by 11% year-on-year (PAT 1HFY2015 : RM42.8 million).
Providing an update on the company’s key projects, Chan said E&O’s catalyst project in Penang, Seri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 (STP2) is on track with commencement of reclamation works expected to take place before the end of the year. The reclamation contractor for STP2, China Communications Construction Company (M) Sdn Bhd (CCCC (M)), was identified in late October while the syndicated term loan for the project will be signed soon.
On the compliance and regulatory front, Chan said that all relevant requirements and authorities’ approvals for STP2 are in hand. These include the approval of the project’s Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) study by the Federal Department of Environment, endorsement of the STP2 masterplan and granting of the Planning Permission for STP2 reclamation works by the Penang state authorities.
Separately, the proposed listing of E&O’s subsidiary Eastern & Oriental PLC on AIM of the London Stock Exchange is awaiting approval from the UK Listing Authority. On 6 November 2015, the Securities Commission Malaysia had recognised the proposed restricted offer and proposed Malaysian placing of the securities. The listing of E&O PLC on AIM is expected to be effective in the first half of 2016.