Agile plans 18 projects on larger land bank

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2007, 12:00am

Guangdong-based Agile Property Holdings said it had increased its land bank and planned to launch 18 projects over the next year while substantially lowering its debt-equity ratio.

The company yesterday posted a first-half net profit increase of 2.8 per cent from last year to 602 million yuan, as sales jumped 4.9 per cent to 3.2 billion yuan.

Agile reported a gross profit margin of 35.4 per cent in the first half, up from 33.4 per cent a year earlier.

Chairman Chen Zhuolin said he was confident Agile would launch 1.68 million square metres this year. The first half saw the completion of 76 per cent of the full-year target.

The company acquired 18 properties this year for 7.6 billion yuan. Its land bank now holds 24.55 million square metres, 52 per cent more than a year earlier. It plans to expand that to 30 million square metres this year.

Amid the expansion, Agile posted a debt-equity ratio of 63 per cent.

'Our gearing ratio will be lowered to 40 to 45 per cent by the end of next year after more projects are launched, which will bring a stronger cash flow,' said chief financial officer Charles Chu.

Mr Chen said the firm would focus on maintaining a high gross-profit margin in coming years by launching projects near city centres.

The company will distribute an interim dividend of 5.5 HK cents, up 10 per cent from a year earlier.

Another property developer, CC Land, said it acquired an 80 per cent stake in a residential site in the core business district of Chengdu.

The company said the consortium won the 55,600-square-metre site in Jinjiang district for 735 million yuan in a land auction. The site, with a total gross floor area of 167,000 square metres, is a high-end residential project slated for completion in 2009.

Banking on real estate

Agile Property's land bank is up 52 per cent year on year at, in square metres 24.6m