Sime Darby Property to focus on industrial and landed residential segments this year

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 26): Anticipating improved market sentiment, Sime Darby Property Bhd (SDP) is eyeing to unveil more industrial properties and quality landed homes that suit current market demand.

In a virtual media briefing today, SDP managing director Datuk Azmir Merican (pictured) said the company will be expanding its portfolio in the logistics and industrial segment as well as offering more lifestyle-oriented landed properties for buyers who are looking for homes with a good living environment.

According to him, the company is setting its sights on new launches worth RM2.5 billion or about 4,000 to 4,500 properties.

With the right product and desirable pricing, he believed that this could help the company to return to its 2019 levels which saw a net profit achievement of RM598.53 million.

To recap, SDP has recorded a net loss of RM478.8 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20); revenue slipped to RM2.06 billion, mainly due to the share of impairment loss from Battersea Project Holding Co Ltd and its subsidiaries -- a 40% owned joint venture of the group -- in respect of the Battersea Power Station project in London.

Azmir emphasises that Malaysian property market demand remained intact as some of the new launches have achieved 90% take-up rate, allowing them to record over RM2 billion of sales or over 2,250 units sold last year.

"Clearly, the MCO and Covid-19 (pandemic) has affected sales and protracted recovery. For some of us, we thought it would be shorter, but we were also uncertain as to how long and how it will pan out. We are quite glad to have come out of 2020 to be honest," said Azmir.

Key launches for this year under the industrial and logistics segment include new phases in Elmina Business Park, a first multi-tenant ready-built warehouse with a gross development value (GDV) of RM530 million in Bandar Bukit Raja Industrial Gateway.

Under the residential segment, the company will unveil the luxury high-rise Jendela Residences in March located within its flagship KLGCC Resort township with a GDV of approximately RM900 million.

Although Azmir opined that property demand for 2021 will be "flattish" at the least, he added that the latest data indicated that landed properties should remain steady.

"Landed property should remain in demand, so if we have the right product, we are confident that we can sell. Buyers do take advantage of the current Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) and we have factors that enable people to meet and transact, and hopefully, we will have this with the vaccine. We do feel that this will continue to drive recovery, or drive business growth."

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