I-Bhd earnings soar, more properties planned in i-City

PETALING JAYA: Property developer I-Bhd posted a 54.88% jump in net profit for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016 to RM66.6mil compared with the same period a year ago on higher sales.

Revenue for the year under review rose 49% to RM383.6mil compared with the same period last year.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, the company’s net profit was marginally lower at RM14.15mil compared with the same quarter a year ago while revenue rose 38.8% to RM102.86mil.

Earnings per share was at 1.33 sen compared with 1.48 sen previously.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, there is strong demand for properties in i-City and we expect to launch more in the near future,” executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong said in a statement.

He said the performance marked another important milestone in I-Bhd’s move towards being a billion ringgit full-fledged property-based company in terms of equity capital, assets and turnover.

“The group underscored its record-achieving profits in 2016 with RM333mil in new property sales compared with the previous year. We also started 2017 on a good footing with unbilled sales of RM578mil,” he said.

Lim said the property development segment was the largest contributor to revenue last year at RM332mil, or 87%, while the leisure segment generated RM45mil in revenue, or 12%.

“We are on track to meet the goal we set at the start of our transformative journey of having a diversified earnings base, in which half would be recurring streams from the property investment and leisure segments.

“This will be underpinned by our aim of achieving RM500mil annual revenue in the property development segment by 2018, an investment property portfolio which would have been built up to RM1bil by then amid the doubling of revenue from our leisure segment,” he said.

I-Bhd’s unbilled sales currently totalled RM578mil for 2017.

Lim said the development of i-City remained the main contributor to the company and would continue to do so for the next few years. As at end-2016, only 10% of the approved gross floor area of i-City has been completed.

“In the second quarter of 2017, the group will unveil a unique urban lifestyle project residing above the DoubleTree by Hilton i-City Hotel.

“Fully furnished with standards in par with the Hilton brand, this project will also be Internet of Things-ready and connected with advanced smart-home features.

“This augurs well for the future as we reckon that i-City can still contribute for the next 10 to 15 years,” he added.

Lim said that since the launch of i-City more than a decade ago, I-Bhd had enhanced i-City to a project with a gross development value (GDV) of RM9bil compared with the GDV of RM1.5bil at its start.

He also said there were still opportunities to enhance the GDV of i-City further.

Lim said the planned LRT3 station in i-City would enable the transformation of i-City into a transit-oriented project with a higher plot ratio for the balance of its development.

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