Agile forecasts residential sales tripling by 2008

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 March, 2006, 12:00am

Agile Property Holdings expects to triple sales of its residential projects by 2008 by expanding outside its home market in Guangdong province for the first time since the developer was established in 1997.

The company said steady demand was expected to drive up its contracted sales this year by 37.82 per cent to 1.3 million square metres of gross floor area, to be booked into its accounts this year.

Until this month, pre-sales have totalled 368,000 square metres or 2,645 residential units, accounting for 28 per cent of this year's forecast sales.

The company expects sales next year to surge 75 per cent to 2.28 million square metres, followed by a further 22.81 per cent rise in 2008.

The management declined to unveil its sales estimates in monetary terms, but said its forecast was realistic given its ambition to become a nationwide developer.

'The years 2006 to 2008 will be the climax for our property sales, given the residential projects already in the pipeline,' Agile chairman Chen Zhuolin said.

'We will also definitely expand outside Guangdong to accelerate our growth because we now have the resources and capability to do so after our listing.'

Agile raised $3.15 billion when it listed in December last year.

However, Mr Chen has yet to announce details of the company's future investment plan or the new target cities.

His comments came after the firm announced better than expected results for last year.

The company's net profit, excluding gains from the revaluation of non-cash investment properties, soared to 978.69 million yuan from 227.6 million yuan in 2004 on improving sales margin and falling expenses.

This was 4.5 per cent above Agile's own forecast of 936 million yuan in its initial public offering.

Earnings per share rose to 38.6 fen from 9.1 fen.

A final dividend of 2.8 cents per share was declared.

Agile, which develops large-scale projects consisting of multiple phases in Guangdong, saw its turnover more than double to 5.37 billion yuan last year.

Property sales were up sharply by 77 per cent at 943,270 square metres, of which 46 per cent came from Guangzhou, 39 per cent from Zhongshan and the rest from Foshan.