EcoFirst Consolidated looking at dividend policy

30 Jul 2018 / 21:18 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd, which saw its net profit more than double to RM44.6 million in the financial year ended May 31 (FY18), is considering the introduction of a dividend policy as early as six monthsl time, said group CEO Datuk Tiong Kwing Hee.
    “We’re looking at a dividend policy. However, we still need to look at the parameters to meet Bursa’s listing requirement. In the near future, you can expect some dividends from us,” he told a press conference after announcing its FY18 financial results today, clarifying that the details are still being worked out.
    “We will be forming a committee to decide how much dividend we need to pay from our profit every year,” added Tiong.
    EcoFirst is targeting RM240 million sales in FY19 from its Liberty @ Ampang Ukay and Kondominium Kelab Golf (formerly Upper East @ Tiger Lane, Ipoh) projects.
    Tiong said its sales achieved in FY18 was similar to its projection of RM180 million.
    Ampang Ukay is EcoFirst’s flagship project and has a gross development value (GDV) of over RM5 billion. Liberty (Phase 1 of Ampang Ukay), with a GDV of RM606.8 million, is 95% sold as at June 2018.
    Phase 2 of Ampang Ukay, with a GDV of RM523 million, is expected to launch in the second half of 2019, while Phase 3 will have a GDV of over RM1 billion, expected to be launched in mid-2020.
    It is confident Ampang Ukay will continue contributing positively to its financials with increase in billings and additional sales for each phase launch over the next 12 to 15 years.
    Tiong said the group is also exploring and developing joint venture partnerships and is looking at some land deals in the Klang Valley.
    He said the property market is challenging, with some units changing hands three times before it is sold. However, Tiong remains optimistic as it is able to tap underserved segments of the market, despite the general slowdown in property.
    Tiong said the strong demand for Liberty, which currently is almost fully sold, is an indication that its products represent good value to first-time buyers, especially young professionals working in the city.
    EcoFirst’s net profit for the fourth quarter ended May 31 jumped 9% to RM9.00 million from RM8.28 million a year ago on lower marketing costs.
    Revenue fell 7% to RM60.71 million compared with RM65.55 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter due to the absence of contribution from 1Segamat Shopping Centre following its disposal.
    For the full-year period, EcoFirst’s net profit more than doubled to RM44.6 million from RM16.13 million a year ago, thanks to the Liberty and Upper East projects and a gain from disposal of land due to compulsory acquisition by the government amounting to RM28.4 million.
    Revenue rose 42% to RM181.23 million compared with RM127.21 million in the previous year contributed mainly from Liberty and Upper East followed by recurring income from the two malls of the group.

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