EcoWorld Malaysia to launch new housing brand for young buyers

The projects will involve high-rise homes in Eco Ardence in Setia Alam, Eco Sanctuary in Kota Kemuning and Eco Botanic in Iskandar Malaysia

By FARA AISYAH / Pic By ARIF KARTONO

ECO World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld Malaysia) aims to launch a new housing brand for the young generation of buyers next year.

The property developer is in the middle of designing and creating a new brand to be launched sometime next year to meet demand from young Malaysians for homes, its president and CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah (picture) said.

“(The brand) will cater to the young group of Malaysians, offering homes with good amenities and pricing,” he said at a press briefing on the group’s latest financial results in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The projects will involve high-rise homes in townships including Eco Ardence in Setia Alam, Eco Sanctuary in Kota Kemuning, Selangor and Eco Botanic in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, he added.

Chang said the new housing brand is planned for EcoWorld Malaysia’s mature townships as they already have the infrastructure, adding that it also makes sense for the company to increase the population of the townships.

For the fourth quarter ended Oct 31, 2019 (4Q19), EcoWorld Malaysia’s net profit jumped more than six times to RM81.46 million from RM12.8 million a year ago, on higher percentage of completion and higher sales secured by ongoing projects, including Eco Majestic and Eco Forest in Semenyih and Eco Sanctuary, among others.

The group’s share of results of its Malaysian joint ventures (JVs) jumped by 355% year-on-year (YoY) in the three months under review due to stronger sales as well as greater progress of works achieved by Eco Grandeur and Eco Business Park V in Puncak Alam, and Eco Horizon in Penang, among others.

Earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter were higher at 2.77 sen against 0.43 sen in 4QFY18. Revenue for the three months surged 96.5% YoY to RM906.54 million from RM461.35 million in 4QFY18.

For the financial year ended Oct 31, 2019 (FY19), EcoWorld Malaysia’s net profit rose 117.6% YoY to RM203.42 million, while revenue increased 24.24% YoY to RM2.46 billion.

Chang said this was the strongest result the company has achieved since its inception.

“Our gearing has improved significantly to 0.7 time compared to 0.77 time last year. With better gearing, the net asset per share has also increased from RM1.47 last year to RM1.54.

“We have handed over a total of 5,763 units in the year, the biggest total handed over since we started,” he said.

The group also aims to declare its very first dividend by next year, Chang added.

For FY19, the developer achieved RM2.7 billion in sales.

It said sales momentum picked up noticeably with a monthly average of RM383 million sales recorded in the final two months of FY19, against an average of RM284 million per month from March to August 2019 following the official launch of the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019.

Meanwhile, Eco World International Bhd’s (EcoWorld International) net profit in 4QFY19 rose more than nine-fold to RM118.29 million from RM12.55 million in the previous year, underpinned by the higher share of results in JVs.

Its EPS were higher at 4.93 sen versus 0.52 sen in 4QFY18.

However, quarterly revenue fell 80.8% YoY to RM254,000 from RM1.3 million the year prior as the sales rate of the group’s higher-end products in London is still affected by ongoing Brexit-related uncertainties.

For FY19, EcoWorld International posted a net profit of RM187 million compared to RM11.23 million in 2018.

Its yearly revenue declined 63.1% YoY to RM478,000 from RM1.3 million in FY18.

For the financial year in focus, EcoWorld International recorded RM1.12 billion worth of sales.

Its president and CEO Datuk Teow Leong Seng is confident the group will achieve its sales target of RM6 billion in FY19 and FY20.

“Apart from the recovery we are seeing at the upper end of the London property market, our mid mainstream products continued to deliver a strong performance, as evidenced by the 67% rise in sales of products priced from £500 (RM2,746.86) per sq ft to £800 per sq ft in FY19.

“Our built-to-rent business is also progressing well, with profit recognition having commenced on the two parcels sold to Invesco Real Estate last year and numerous enquiries from other institutional investors which we expect to be able to progress with, once greater clarity is obtained on the Brexit timeline,” he said.