KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): Sime Darby Property Bhd's net profit declined by 21.51% to RM51.84 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022 (1QFY22) from RM66.04 million in the same quarter last year.

Earnings per share decreased slightly to 0.8 sen year-on-year (y-o-y) from one sen.

Sime Darby Property's revenue in 1QFY22 was RM480.33 million, lower than the RM588.77 million in the prior year.

The company attributed the lower earnings to a decrease in property development's contribution. The drop was mainly due to lower development activities in the City of Elmina, Serenia City, Bukit Jelutong and KLGCC Resort, coupled with lower sales of completed inventories in KLGCC Resort, Taman Melawati and KL East townships, which are now almost sold out.

"This was mitigated by improved financial performances from both investment and asset management, and leisure segments as well as the gain on disposal of the group's 65% equity interest in OSC Sunrise Apartment Co Ltd totalling RM8.9 million," the group said in a statement.

Compared with the immediate preceding quarter, Sime Darby Property's net profit decreased 28.19% from RM72.19 million while revenue dropped 35.04% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) from RM739.37 million in 4QFY21.

Sime Darby Property registered cash balances of RM855.8 million as of March 31, achieving positive operating cash flow of RM135.4 million.

"Net gearing is now at 31.1%, signalling a strong and healthy balance sheet. The group's unbilled sales increased 20.4% q-o-q to RM2.9 billion as of March 31, 2022, ensuring revenue visibility for the next two years.

"Current bookings stood at RM1.5 billion as of May 8, 2022, with completed inventories at a new low of RM301.5 million as of March 31, 2022," it said.

The company registered a sales achievement of RM888.9 million in 1QFY22, representing approximately 34% of the FY22 sales target of RM2.6 billion.

Sales achievement for the quarter saw an increase in contribution from its industrial segment from 23% in the previous quarter to 31%, buoyed by sales of industrial facilities across the group's major Klang Valley townships, with the balance mainly comprising residential segment products.

The group envisages a positive outlook for the real estate market for the rest of the financial year, in particular the residential and industrial segments as complemented by the easing of restrictions in the endemic phase.

On Battersea Power Station (BPS), Sime Darby Property's managing director Datuk Azmir Merican said: "We are encouraged by the commercial and retail letting as well as residential sales progress at Phases 2 and 3A, in time for the completion and official opening of the Power Station in September this year. Currently, over 80% of the retail and commercial space in BPS has been let to an excellent range of quality tenants."

Sime Darby Property shares declined by 2.65% to close at 55 sen on Tuesday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM3.77 billion. It saw some 2.91 million shares change hands.

Edited by Kamarul Azhar Azmi

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