EcoWorld keeps focus on Penang

EcoWorld’s total landbank in Penang stands at 181ha, with 87ha still undeveloped 


ECO World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) is looking to continue its northern development focus on the Penang mainland this year. For a start, the company kept busy with handovers of some of its project parcels in the first quarter of 2024. 

“This trend should continue well throughout 2024 right up to early 2025,” EcoWorld divisional GM Datuk Chan Soo How told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR). 

EcoWorld’s total landbank in Penang stands at 181ha, with 87ha still undeveloped. 

On Penang Island, its Eco Terraces development spans 5.2ha in Paya Terubong, Eco Meadows at Simpang Ampat stands on 24ha, while at Batu Kawan, there are two projects, Eco Sun (30ha) and Eco Horizon (located close to the landing point of the second Penang Bridge) which straddles 121ha. 

“We are keeping busy with our ongoing launches at Eco Horizon and also the ‘duduk’ series called Ceria D’Eco Horizon. 

“At 121ha, we have successfully handed over our first collection of homes called Ashton in 2021. Our second collection, known as Beldon, offers bungalows and semi-detached homes, while our third collection called Camdon offers the very successful garden homes and co-home series,” said Chan. 

Chan hopes there will be more public medical
facilities and well-connected public transport systems in Batu Kawan

Batu Kawan 

Apart from EcoWorld, Batu Kawan — which is located south of Seberang Prai — is also home to several property developers and multinational corporations (MNCs). They include Aspen Group, PDC Properties Sdn Bhd, Paramount Property Development Sdn Bhd and PE Land (Penang) Sdn Bhd which developed the state’s first “premium outlet” mall Penang Design Village. 

IKEA is another retail landmark in Batu Kawan, along with educational institutions like University of Wollongong (UOW) Malaysia’s KDU campus and Peninsula University. 

ViTrox Technologies Sdn Bhd, Inari Amertron Bhd and Greatech Technology Bhd, as well as MNCs such as Lam Research Corp, Boston Scientific (M) Sdn Bhd and Flextronics Technology (Penang) Sdn Bhd, are also located in Batu Kawan, together with global names like Paramit (M) Sdn Bhd, Ibiden Co Ltd, Advanced Energy Industries Inc, Enza Zaden, Everbest Soya Bean Products Sdn Bhd and Prodelcon Sdn Bhd. 

Penang’s real estate sector, which is still in the recovery phase following the Covid-19 pandemic, emerged as the second-best performing city within South-East Asia, Penang’s state housing and environment committee chairman Datuk Seri S Sundarajoo told the state legislative assembly recently. 

He said that based on Knight Frank’s Asia-Pacific Residential Index for the first half of 2023, home prices in Penang rose 5.78% during this period — making it South-East Asia’s second top-performing city. Singapore tops the list as it saw house prices increase 7.97%, while Bangkok took third place with a 4.36% hike in prices. 

Sundarajoo noted that the hike in average household income had enabled Penang residents to acquire their own homes even as prices rose above the median property price, Bernama reported. 

Focus on the North 

In the past decade, Chan noted that the EcoWorld brand has grown steadily and today, gained wide acceptance across four sizeable and diversified revenue pillars, namely its Eco Townships, Eco Business Parks, Eco Rise and Eco Hubs pillars. 

“Eco North (Penang) has contributed to three of these revenue pillars with our projects of Eco Horizon, Eco Meadows and Eco Terraces. And we will continue to do so in the following year, as we keep our focus in the north which is currently on mainland Penang,” he said. 

To complement its Eco Townships and serve the needs of younger homebuyers as well as those looking for homes at a more affordable price point, EcoWorld introduced the “duduk” series of apartments which it said has become a core component of the company’s fast-growing Eco Rise revenue pillar. Ceria D’Eco Horizon is the fourth in the “duduk” series and made its debut in Penang in September last year. 

“We have two blocks and have currently launched Block A with 651 units. Sales have hit more than 70% and we have opened up Block B for reservations this month (December). Our focus will only be on ‘Ceria’ at the moment with regards to the “duduk” series in Penang,” he said. 

In December 2023, EcoWorld reported a nearly doubled net profit of RM3.3 million for the fourth quarter ended Oct 31, 2023 (4Q23), attributed to higher revenue and gross profit. 

The 51% increase in quarterly revenue to RM844.5 million was driven by the completion of a 37ha of land sale in Eco Business Park II. 

IKEA is another retail landmark in Batu Kawan (pic: TMRpic)

For the financial year 2023 (FY23), the group’s net profit increased by 20% to RM189.3 million, with total revenue reaching RM22.26 billion. 

EcoWorld declared a final dividend of 2 sen per share in 4Q23, bringing the total dividends declared for FY23 to six sen per share. 

The company exceeded its FY23 sales target of RM3.5 billion, achieving RM3.61 billion in sales. 

“Eco North’s contribution to group sales has been circa 15% and we believe this will continue for FY24. 

“As our townships mature, we are confident that our commercial properties, complemented by our placemaking efforts through the development of retail spaces, lush town parks and scenic lakes, will enjoy ever-increasing demand,” said Chan. 

He said it was evidenced by the Borealis shop offices at Eco Horizon in Batu Kawan, which has been well received, with 98% of retail and office spaces being tenanted as to date. 

“This creates a virtuous transformative cycle as the greater vibrancy of our commercial spaces further enhances the liveability of our townships, thereby benefitting not just our residents but also the wider working and living population in the vicinity of our projects.” 

As Eco Horizon in Batu Kawan remains the main project for EcoWorld in the northern region, the company has to date, provided amenities which include among others, fibre optic infrastructure ready for Internet service, houses that are infrastructure ready for solar panels and electric vehicles, a recycling centre in each precinct to promote sustainability in waste management, a 5.4ha flamingo-inspired lake and landscape park, and a 70:30 residential and commercial ratio mix for its mixed development component to enable the township to be balanced and self-sustainable. 

“We hope to see more public medical facilities and well-connected public transport systems here in Batu Kawan,” Chan said. 

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition