KUALA LUMPUR (July 28): EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended May 31, 2017 (4QFY17) jumped by about 13 times to RM7.77 million or 0.97 sen per share from RM608,000 or 0.08 sen per share in the same quarter a year ago, mainly due to contribution from the development of Upper East at Tiger Lane in Ipoh, Perak, and Liberty project at Ampang Ukay.

During the quarter, the property developer saw its revenue grew by 49.8% to RM65.5 million as compared to the RM43.8 million recorded in 4QFY16.

A filing with Bursa Malaysia said that besides the Upper East and Liberty project, recurring income from the group’s two malls also helped in its improved performance for the quarter.

“The 529-unit luxury condominiums at Upper East project and the 1,632 SOHO units of Liberty project contributed to 42% and 33% of the group’s revenue respectively,” it said.

A press release said EcoFirst has sold 90% of Liberty, the first phase since its launch in March this year.

EcoFirst chief executive officer Datuk Tiong Kwing Hee said, “We’re pleased that Ampang Ukay is progressing according to scheduled plan. Our next immediate focus will be on Phase 2 Ampang Ukay expected launch to be earlier than anticipated. With a GDV (gross development value) of more RM5 billion, Ampang Ukay will be main driver for EcoFirst’s growth over the medium to long term.”

For the full financial year 2017 (FY17), EcoFirst however saw its net profit slipped by 3.6% to RM15.6 million from RM16.2 million in FY16. This was despite its revenue growing by 4.98% during the same period to RM127.2 million from RM121.2 million.

The note filed with Bursa said the lower profit was due to higher marketing costs incurred during the early stages of the development of Liberty project, which was mitigated by accretion in fair value of investment properties and recovery of long outstanding debts that were previously provided for and now written-back.

For EcoFirst’s prospects moving forward, it said the Upper East project in Ipoh is in the tail end and targeted to deliver its vacant possession in 1QFY18 and will continue to contribute in FY18 from its final billing.

Liberty project is also expected to contribute positively to the group’s performance in FY18 as construction works progress accordingly and sales of property increase.

“The retail mall in Segamat will still contribute to the group’s performance in the first quarter of FY18 as the disposal is targeted to be completed by August 2017. Proceeds from this sale shall be reinvested for the property development business and other business purposes. Rental income from property investment division shall continue from the operations of the retail mall in South City Plaza, Seri Kembangan,” it added.

As of closing, EcoFirst slipped by 1.69% to 29 sen with 592,600 shares traded, giving it a market capitalisation of RM232.9 million.

 

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