KUALA LUMPUR (May 26): Property developer UEM Sunrise Bhd returned to black in its first quarter ended March 31, 2022 with a net profit of RM19.02 million, as opposed to a net loss of RM4.32 million it recorded in the corresponding quarter last year, as revenue jumped on the recognition of contribution from the sale of 19 industrial plots in Iskandar Puteri, a sale it executed in December 2020.

The improved revenue — an increase of 64.8% to RM416.45 million, from RM252.69 million previously — was also due to higher progress billings and construction progress from local developments, its bourse filing showed.

Besides higher gross profit, its bottomline was also boosted by improvements in its share of results from associates and joint ventures, mainly from Nusajaya Tech Park and Horizon Hills in Iskandar Puteri, as well as the higher foreign exchange gain.

Thus, it recorded an earnings per share of 0.38 sen for 1QFY22, compared with a loss per share of 0.09 sen for 1QFY21.

Property development activities recorded sales of RM110 million in 1QFY22, 64% contributed by projects in the central region — mainly Serene Heights Bangi, KAIA Heights in Equine Park, Seri Kembangan and Residensi Allevia in Mont'Kiara, with the remaining 36% from Southern mainly from Estuari Gardens, Aspira LakeHomes in Gerbang Nusajaya and Senadi Hills.

Its unbilled sales as at March 31 stood at RM2.2 billion.

Thrilled with the group's return to profit after two years of less-than-stellar results, UEM Sunrise chief executive officer Sufian Abdullah said the group aims to remain profitable throughout 2022 and continue to carry its three-step transformation programme to return UEM Sunrise to realise its core potential in creating value through property development.

On the recent overnight policy rate hike, the group does not expect significant impact on sales, as the rate is still low in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. "Furthermore, the majority of the products available in the market have been competitively priced, while most buyers are owner occupiers. Taking advantage of the current environment, we are reinforcing the launches of our new product pipelines and will continue to provide attainable products for our buyers and market at large," he added.

Meanwhile, the group plans to continue with its landbank portfolio rebalancing and embed the sustainability agenda within the organisation to future-proof new launches and future products.

Despite prevailing uncertainties, the group remains cautiously optimistic and is keeping to its sales and gross development value targets of RM1.5 billion and RM3.3 billion respectively for 2022.

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