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,Datuk Chang Khim Wah

KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld Malaysia), which saw its net profit grow 8% to RM45.67mil in the second quarter ended April 30 (2Q22), has declared an interim dividend of two sen.

The developer said the ex-date for the dividend would be on July 6 and payment on July 21.

Its revenue for the quarter rose 20.6% to RM506.9mil from RM420.45mil a year earlier.

In a statement, EcoWorld Malaysia said its gross profit margin also improved to 23.1% in 2Q22 against 18% in 2Q21 as measures implemented to increase efficiency and control costs enabled savings to be realised.

In the first six months to April 30, EcoWorld Malaysia posted a net profit of RM109.04mil, up 4.1% from RM104.75mil while revenue grew 12.12% to RM1.04bil against RM927.8mil a year ago.

As at April 30, EcoWorld Malaysia’s cash and bank balances increased to RM904.4mil whilst net borrowings and net gearing reduced to RM1.7bil and 0.36 times.

Its future revenue remains high at RM3.9bil as at May 31, 2022 giving good near-term earnings visibility.

“EcoWorld Malaysia continued to experience steady sales in 2Q22 with RM2.17bil achieved in seven months - this places the Group well on track to achieve our full year sales target of RM3.5bil,” president & CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah said in the statement.

“The largest percentage increase in sales since our last reporting period came from our Iskandar Malaysia projects. Sales almost doubled from RM315mil as at Feb 28, 2022, to RM617mil as at May 31, 2022,” he added.

Chang said the recent launch of Forte and Forte+ Residences, a new phase of 33’ x 75’ Cluster Homes at Eco Spring, at average prices of RM1.2mil and RM1.4mil per unit respectively and the Charmborough series of 22’ x 70’ terraces by Eco Botanic 2, at average prices of RM920,000 per unit, contributed to the sales increase in Iskandar Malaysia.

“Our strategy to introduce more upgrader homes to complement several starter homes series launched in FY21 began in 1Q22 in the Klang Valley and Penang. We are pleased that response has been very good for all the higher-end products launched this year thanks to the strong following the EcoWorld brand continues to command in the upgrader and luxury homes segment across all three regions of the group’s operations,” he added.

Chang noted that the opening of the country’s borders, particularly between Malaysia and Singapore has helped boost demand in Iskandar Malaysia. More notably, it has had a significant impact on the group’s business park sales.

As at May 31, total sales by the group’s four business parks stand at RM447mil which is 93% of the full year sales achieved by this segment in FY21.