Ivory Properties counting on Penang Times Square, WorldCity for better FY16

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 21) : Despite the dampened property market, developer Ivory Properties Group Bhd is anticipating its earnings for the financial year ending March 31, 2016  (FY16) to be comparable with FY15 — if not better — driven by two projects: the Penang Times Square and Penang WorldCity.

It saw a net profit of RM23.51 million on a revenue of RM270.19 million in FY15.

“We have good sales [for our developments], but of late the [housing] loan rejection rate of banks has been climbing. We still believe the market has buying power, and [that] property market sentiment will return,” Ivory chief operating officer Goh Chin Heng said last week.

The group aims to complete the remaining three phases of its five-phase Penang Times Square, which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM800 million, in the next three to five years.

“Work is in progress for The Wave serviced residences (Phase 3), which are 100% sold for non-bumiputera lots, while The Central [commercial suites] (Phase 4) are expected to be launched at the end of the year,” said Goh.

The Penang Times Square, which has a GDV of RM2 billion, is located in the heart of George Town, boasting one of the biggest malls in northern Peninsular Malaysia, with over a million sq ft and set to be completed by 2020.

“Location is key. With the light rail transit project rolling out, we believe this will boost the viability of our development,” said Goh.

As for Penang WorldCity, its joint development with Tropicana Corp Bhd which carries a GDV of RM10 billion, it said there are some 80 acres (32.37ha) left for development.

“We may consider a mixed development [on a portion of the 80 acres] with a GDV of RM1 billion. However, this is still in the planning stage. Considering that we still have a substantial portion of undeveloped land, Penang WorldCity should keep us busy for the next 10 to 15 years,” said Goh.

Phase1A of Penang WorldCity, comprising six blocks of condominiums known as Tropicana Bay Residences, saw over 80% of its 1,343 units sold.

Ivory chief executive officer Datuk Low Eng Hock said the group is eyeing development opportunities in the Klang Valley and is in the midst of sealing an agreement with a potential partner there.

“We hope to be able to break the good news by early next year. It will be a mixed development,” he added.

Ivory shares closed unchanged at 36 sen last Friday, with a market capitalisation of RM162.62 million.

This article first appeared in the digitaledge DAILY on Sept 21, 2015. Subscribe here.

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