Sunrise’s Stage 3 strategy kicks off

The success of Sunrise Bhd’s recently-launched Quintet project in Richmond, Canada is a showcase of its ability to expand beyond its home base in Mont’Kiara. The success of Quintet also marks the start of the next phase of Sunrise’s growth strategy, which executive chairman Datuk Tong Kooi Ong labels as “Stage 3”.

Stage 3 growth marks the expansion of Sunrise into multiple locations, with multiple products, apart from Mont’Kiara, which the company is synonymous with.

As part of this strategy, the company will offer residential and commercial property products and widen its geographical reach beyond Mont’Kiara to Canada, downtown Kuala Lumpur, KLCC, Kajang and Bukit Jelutong.

Among the projects planned for the next few years are MK20 and MK22 in Mont’Kiara, Solaris Dutamas Phase 2 in Dutamas, Solaris Towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Lot 149 — opposite the Petronas Twin Towers, the Kajang landed development near The Mines and a joint-venture with Sime Darby to develop 21 acres of land in Bukit Jelutong.

Sunrise is also opening its art-inspired mall, dubbed “Publika” at Solaris Dutamas next year. The mall will have 335,000 sq ft of net lettable space and some 5,000 car park bays.

Tong articulated in Sunrise’s 2010 annual report that up until 2002, it was very much a single product company (mainly residential properties), operating in a single location (Mont’Kiara). Annual revenue was limited to under RM170 million and pre-tax profit below RM45 million.

That, according to Tong was Stage 1 of Sunrise’s story. Back then, the company was under different stewardship. In 2003, Tong and executive deputy chairman Datuk Allan Lim acquired a controlling stake in Sunrise, joined the board and proceeded to move the company to Stage 2.

During Stage 2, Sunrise evolved into a multiple product (residential and commercial) company, while still operating within the Mont’Kiara area.

The company launched the Solaris brand for its commercial projects, with the development of Solaris Mont’Kiara and Solaris Dutamas. Its residential offerings also expanded significantly, giving buyers more options, from entry-level units at Solaris Dutamas and Mont’Kiara Designer Suites to luxury homes at 10 and 11 Mont’Kiara.

Since the entry of Tong and Lim, Stage 2 of Sunrise’s growth has seen the company’s revenue and profits increase over four-fold in just a few years.

From just RM39.8 million in FY June 2002, Sunrise’s annual pre-tax profit increased to a new base of over RM150 million in FY2005-10, except for FY06 due to one-off provisions for certain legacy assets. Pre-tax profit crossed the RM200 million mark in FY2008-09, reaching a record RM205.8 million in FY09, before easing slightly to RM180.9 million in FY2010.

In his annual report message, Tong said the introduction of commercial products in Stage 2 came with further value creation for Sunrise’s core residential products. He is optimistic Stage 3 will create even more value for the company’s stakeholders.

Despite expanding outside Mont’Kiara, Tong emphasises that Mont’Kiara remains Sunrise’s core location, and that it is committed to continue working on improving the value, conveniences, accessibilities, facilities and the general lifestyle of Sunrise’s Mont’Kiara properties. As part of its commitment to the community, Sunrise last year introduced a free community bus service for all its residents, fully funded by the developer.

This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, October 29, 2010.

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