Agile to launch 10 projects as interim core profit rises 12pc

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 August, 2014, 2:46pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 August, 2014, 2:57pm

Agile Property said it would launch more than 10 projects catering for entry-level buyers and upgraders in anticipation of improved market sentiment in the second half of the year.

The mid-sized mainland developer unveiled the plan as it posted a 12 per cent increase in first-half core profit from the same period a year earlier to 1.74 billion yuan (HK$2.19 billion).

Net profit fell 4.3 per cent to 2.04 billion yuan the firm said in a stock exchange filing.

Turnover rose 13.6 per cent to 17.28 billion yuan.

The board declared an interim dividend of 14.5 HK cents per share, unchanged from a year earlier.

Chen Zhuolin, chairman and president of Agile, said the overall property market would improve in the second half, helped by the recent relaxation of government tightening measures and more liberal credit support for homebuyers.

Agile’s accumulated presales jumped 34.2 per cent from the same period last year to 21.67 billion yuan. The firm achieved 45.1 per cent of its annual presales target in the first half.

Overall gross profit margin was 35.4 per cent, but BNP Paribas expects it to contract to 33 per cent for the full year from 36 per cent for all of last year.

It will continue to contract to 29 per cent next year and 28 per cent in 2016, BNP Paribas said in a report on August 15.

The bank said Agile had adopted a flexible pricing strategy for its high-end products in Changzhou in Jiangsu province, Foshan in Guangdong province and Chengdu in Sichuan province, which should improve asset turnover and inventory levels.

For the first seven months of this year, BNP Paribas said, Agile’s contracted sales reached 24 billion yuan, up 29 per cent year on year, or 50 per cent of its 48 billion yuan full-year target.

At the end of June, Agile’s total cash and bank balances were 13.9 billion yuan, while undrawn borrowing facilities were 7.07 billion yuan, the firm said in its results announcement.