“Total sales plus reserves as at May 31, 2022 (7 months) adds up to RM1.533bil which is 52% more than RM1.012bil recorded in the same period of FY21,” the developer said in a statement.
It added that the Embassy Gardens and London City Island continued to be the biggest contributors to sales and reservations, generating RM549mil and RM304mil respectively.
EW-Ballymore, the group’s first joint-venture in the United Kingdom, has fully paid down its bank loans in April 2022 and was able to commence its maiden repayment of shareholder loans to EcoWorld International in May 2022.
EW-Ballymore currently has about £400mil worth of completed properties which are readily monetisable for further distributions to EcoWorld International.
“Given the present market conditions and that EW-Ballymore projects are at the tail-end of completion, the board has taken a prudent stand to recognise an impairment of RM36mil on its investment in the EW-Ballymore portfolio based on current estimated selling prices for the remaining completed stock,” EcoWorld International said.
President & CEO Datuk Teow Leong Seng said the strong start it experienced in 1Q22 has continued into 2222 with total sales and reserves of RM1.533bil recorded as at May 31.
“Our London City Island and Embassy Gardens projects continue to lead sales performance and we have also seen a good uptick in demand for our Australian projects in 2Q22,” he said.
Teow added that its monetisation strategy has progressed well, enabling us to repay all the project development loans for our Australian projects as well as all the bank borrowings of its EW-Ballymore joint-venture.
“At the group level we have also begun receiving some repayment of our shareholders’ advances from EW-Ballymore,” he said.
“However, despite the resurgence in demand we have seen over the last seven months, selling prices for properties have not increased at quite the same pace as yet. This is because market sentiment continues to be weighed down by inflationary concerns and rising interest rates, compounded by geopolitical tensions caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“Interestingly though, rents in London have been going up particularly at our EW-Ballymore projects due to their prime location, transport accessibility and excellent liveability. Such rental growth augurs well for an eventual price recovery which should help us to achieve better overall returns from the sale of our completed properties for the benefit of our shareholders,” he added.
In the second quarter ended April 30 (2Q22), EcoWorld International posted a net loss of RM67.35mil against a net profit of RM11.3mil in the same period a year prior.
Its revenue in 2Q22 fell to RM33.07mil from RM107.55mil a year earlier.
In the first six months to April 30, it posted a net loss of RM82.01mil from a net profit of RM67.34mil last year while revenue stood at RM82.32mil against RM410.83mil a year ago.
EcoWorld International said the gross and net gearing levels of the group remained low at 0.30 times and 0.23 times respectively.
The group’s plans to monetise its completed stocks in the United Kingdom and Australia is expected to generate substantial cash reserves and it will strive to accelerate sales with a view towards achieving improved overall returns to shareholders.
It added that a portion of the funds generated from the sales of its completed stocks will be earmarked for reinvestment, with the balance to be repatriated to Malaysia for a planned distribution to shareholders within the next 1-2 years.