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China Property

Wanda Commercial expects rental income to rise 25 per cent in 2016

Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties said it expects rental income from Wanda Plaza and other investment properties in its portfolios to increase 25 per cent in 2016.

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 March, 2016, 11:31am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 March, 2016, 7:41pm

Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties said it expects rental income from Wanda Plaza and other investment properties in its portfolios to increase 25 per cent in 2016.

“This is a conservative estimate,” Executive Director Wang Zhibin told a results briefing. “We will open new Wanda Plazas and existing contracts guarantee an annual 5 to 6 per cent rental growth.”

The property arm of conglomerate Wanda Group, controlled by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, saw core profit — excluding one-off items and fair value gains — rise 14.8 per cent last year to 17 billion yuan (HK$20 billion). The result was driven by higher property sales and was in line with the average analyst estimate polled by Reuters.

Revenue increased 15 per cent to 124 billion yuan. Property sales generated 83 per cent of that. Income last year from the company’s investment property leasing and property management segment was 13.6 billion yuan, representing 11 per cent of the total.

Wanda Commercial plans to open 50 new Wanda Plazas in 2016 and currently operates 133 in China.

Company President Qi Jie said corporate focus will be on developing residential projects for sales in first- and some leading second-tier cities. In lower-tier cities, they will only consider investment properties and adopt an ‘asset-light’ strategy.

“Growth prospects in third- and fourth-tier cities are very week, ” Qi said.

The company is seeking to generate funds for Wanda Plazas from external investors and expects a 39 per cent reduction in contracted sales this year to 100 billion yuan as growth in China’s real estate sector slows.

Jeffrey Gao, head of China property research at Nomura, said he was positive about Wanda’s profit generation in next two years, as it had strong contract sales in 2015 and it is very competitive in attracting tenants for its malls.

“Merchants are willing to follow such a quality landlord to build business across the country,” Gao said.

The average occupancy rate of Wanda’s shopping malls was 96.37 per cent in 2015.

The company said it had changed its tenent mix in the past year in response to the impact from e-commerce and introduced experimental stores in areas such as education, training and fitness.

Wanda Secretary Chris Hui said the company will seek out overseas investment opportunities although no targets had been set.

The company has six overseas property developments; in London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Chicago and Australia’s Sydney and Gold Coast.

Wanda Commercial shares rose 1 per cent to HK$37.8 in Hong Kong trading on Thursday.

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