Mapletree full-year earnings dip 3%

Mapletree full-year earnings dip 3%

But operating profit rises 35%; revenue jumps 69% to $365.6m

 

MAPLETREE Investments posted a 3 per cent dip in net earnings for the year ended March 31, 2008 to $1.04 billion because of lower net revaluation gain and higher net finance cost.

 

Operating profit, however, rose 35 per cent to $146.9 million on the back of first full-year contributions from VivoCity and St James Power Station (SJPS) and maiden contribution from The Beacon, a residential project at Cantonment Road.

 

The fully owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings also achieved much higher occupancy and rental rates from all its investment properties across the board.

 

Revenue jumped 69 per cent to $365.6 million with VivoCity and SJPS contributing a total $99.5 million and The Beacon contributing $47.5 million.

 

The Temasek unit booked a net revaluation gain of $879 million (after deferred tax provision) for the latest financial year, lower than the $971.2 million in the preceding year.

 

Mapletree chairman Edmund Cheng said the group is exploring several mixed-use commercial projects in Vietnam (in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and the provinces abutting them). ‘In line with our business model, we will seed these projects with our own balance sheet, and will consider the possibility of starting a Vietnam-focused fund once we have achieved a significant asset size,’ he said in his message in Mapletree’s latest annual report.

 

Elsewhere in the report, the group revealed it is ‘in the advanced stage of evaluating several projects comprising a wide spectrum of property types, from office, retail, residential, to industrial and service residential properties, with a view to seed a new Vietnam fund with these assets over the next few months’.

 

When asked, Mapletree’s spokeswoman said the Vietnam fund will be started within the next 12 months but this will depend on market conditions in Vietnam. The fund size will be at least US$500 million.

 

Mapletree’s real estate assets, both owned and managed, stood at $8.9 billion as at March 31, 2008, up 59 per cent from $5.6 billion a year earlier. Of these, its third-party assets under management (AUM) amounted to $3.1 billion, an increase of 94 per cent, while the group’s owned assets grew nearly 45 per cent from $4 billion to $5.7 billion.

 

Fee income, excluding fee income from associates, grew 40 per cent last year. The group’s AUM and fee income will be boosted significantly in the current financial year from the Mapletree India-China Fund launched in April this year and a new Mapletree-Arcapita Bank fund formed to hold the $1.7 billion portfolio of properties acquired from JTC Corp.

 

In an interview with BT in April this year, Mapletree CEO Hiew Yoon Khong projected the group’s total assets could hit $15 billion to $20 billion in a year.

 

The India-China fund has secured a US$600 million commitment at the initial closing and is currently marketing its second closing with a target to secure a total commitment of US$1.5 billion.

 

In Singapore, the group is developing Mapletree Business City, an office and business park with 1.7 million sq ft of total net lettable area and slated for completion in second-half 2010.

 

It is also developing a 19-storey Grade A office building at Anson Road called Mapletree Anson, which is expected to be ready in mid-2009. These two assets could be potentially sold at some point to the proposed Mapletree Commercial Trust.

 

This trust was to have been listed here earlier this year holding about $3 billion of the group’s assets in the HarbourFront and Alexandra Precincts with VivoCity as the anchor asset. However, the launch has been deferred due to unfavourable stock market conditions.

 

Source: Business Times

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