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Aspen sees 2.5 times jump in 1Q profit, driven by progress of ongoing projects

Murly

KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore-listed Aspen (Group) Holdings Ltd's net profit grew about 2.5 times year-on-year to RM13.1 million in its first quarter of financial year 2018 (1QFY18) from RM5.13 million, as revenue jumped with further progress from its ongoing projects.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2018 was 170% higher at RM102.7 million from RM38.04 million. The completion of sale of a vacant commercial land also contributed to the stronger revenue.

In a statement, Aspen said it has four ongoing projects that achieved remarkable sales during the quarter.

"Our pioneer project, Tri Pinnacle at Tanjong Tokong...attracted demand for 83.60% of available units. Meanwhile, Beacon Executive Suites, the SoHo units that are strategically located in the heart of George Town, has recorded unit sales of 65.20% as at March 31, 2018. The first and second phase of Aspen Vision City (AVC), Vervéa, the commercial property project and Vertu Resort, the residential project within AVC, recorded sales of 88.51% and 67.74% of total units respectively," the group said.

Based on the ongoing projects, the group has unbilled sales of RM760.13 million as at March 31.

On prospects, Aspen president and group chief executive officer Datuk M Murly noted that there has been no change in the state governments of Penang and Selangor, where the group's property developments and businesses are located, while Malaysia's federal government is now being led by experienced statesman Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The appointment of former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng as the Finance Minister, said Murly, will enhance Malaysia's economy at large and boost infrastructure and transportation investments in Penang, which will have "great positive impact" on property prices in Penang.

"We believe the market outlook will turn more bullish after the transition period. Furthermore, as the brainchild of the former Penang chief minister, we also believe the Batu Kawan Masterplan will get the full support from the Federal Government and that it has the potential to be the most advanced satellite city in the country," Murly added. The Penang government has been promoting Batu Kawan in Penang as the third satellite city after the completion of the RM4.5 billion Penang Second Bridge in 2014.

Aspen also updated that the IKEA store, which is currently under construction in AVC at Batu Kawan, is scheduled to be completed in November 2018 and will open for business in early 2019.

"The initial planning and construction works of the RM1 billion integrated shopping centre have started and we expect to commence full construction works upon the opening of the IKEA store in 2019," the group added. — theedgemarkets.com

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