Sunland Group hungry for high storeys after lifting profit 11 per cent to $30 million

Sunland Group managing director ahba Abedian. The group lifted profit 111 per cent to $30.1 million.

PROPERTY developer Sunland Group proved it is well and truly back in the game after notching up a 111 per cent hike in full-year profit to $30.1 million.

The stellar result, which exceeded guidance of $28 million, was thanks to strong sales and the deployment of $90.1 million realised from the strategic sale of Melbourne and Sydney assets to key growth markets in southeast Queensland.

Sunland reaped the benefit of increased margins and settlement values across its portfolio on the back of growing consumer confidence and a booming property market in its core operating markets of southeast Queensland, Melbourne and Sydney.

“This is one of the most outstanding results Sunland has ever produced and is the highest profit recorded by the group in its history as a purely domestic company,” Sunland managing director Sahba Abedian said.

“It is the combination of more than five years of strategic acquisitions and we are now capitalising on the fruits of those.”

Mr Abedian said Sunland is now back in the hunt for acquisitions, and in southeast Queensland in particular “which is the growth story to come”.

He believes there is still value in Sydney and Melbourne growth corridors where it is eyeing “off-market, infill acquisitions”.

Sunland shares rose 3.5¢, or 2.19 per cent, to $1.63.

Sunland, which is developing its flagship $850 million 42ha masterplanned The Lakes project at Mermaid Waters, achieved 754 sales worth $509 million during the year.

The group generated $279.7 million in revenue from 387 property settlements.

A further $82 million in site acquisitions in 2015 and $29 million due to settle in the 2016 first half increased the group’s development portfolio by 1772 products with a total end value of $1.1 billion, taking the total portfolio to 6086 land, house and multistorey projects with an end value of $3.7 billion.

Sunland, developer of the Gold Coast’s Q1 supertower and Palazzo Versace Hotel, is returning to its multistorey roots on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.

Mr Abedian said the group, which has been concentrating on residential housing developments, is “actively looking to expand our multistorey portfolio in southeast Queensland”.

“Testament to that is the success of the luxury $250 million Abian tower in Brisbane which has achieved 98 per cent of pre-sales,” he said.

“We have expanded our multistorey portfolio to mid-rise projects to mitigate the risks of large-scale, ultra high-rise developments like Q1 and Circle on Cavill.”

Its multistorey workbook includes the planned $600-million two tower Mariners Cove project at The Spit, a $136 million 4.7ha residential and six-tower project at Palm Beach, the twin tower One Marine Parade at Labrador and $430 million Grace on Coronation triple towers at Toowong, Brisbane. Abian is due for completion in mid-2017.

Sunland increased its debt facilities in 2015 to fund its growing development pipeline but Mr Abedian said gearing remains conservative, with 22 per cent debt to assets and 32 per cent debt to equity.

The group paid a full franked 10¢ a share dividend.

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