UOL Group to launch Meyer Road & Silat Avenue projects in 2Q2019

The Singapore-listed group will focus on selling down inventory of its residential projects and will be selective in its land banking strategy

Singapore-listed property firm, UOL Group, which has a market capitalisation of $5.7 billion, recorded a 13% increase in revenue to $2.4 billion in FY2018. Earnings however, were down 51% to $433.72 million, mainly due to the $535.6 million gain recognised upon the consolidation of United Industrial Corp (UIC) group in FY2017.
Redevelopment of the Pan Pacific Orchard, which will have 350 keys and sky gardens when completed in 2021 (Credit: UOL Group)
Gearing ratio increased y-o-y from 0.21 to 0.28 as at Dec 31, 2018, due mainly to higher borrowings for the acquisitions of the government land site at Silat Avenue for $1.035 billion ($1,138 psf per plot ratio) last April; and the eight-storey office building at 72 Christie Street in Sydney for A$154.52 million in December.
The gearing ratio of 0.28 “is still considered quite low”, says Liam Wee Sin, UOL Group chief executive at a press conference on Feb 26. “And it gives us the debt headroom for future acquisitions.”
Property development contributed to 41% of revenue and 26% of operating profit in FY2018. Property investments, on the other hand, accounted for 23% of revenue but 56% of operating profit in FY2018.

Property investments

The increase in profit contribution from property investments was owing to the consolidation with UIC, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary in August 2017. This was after UOL purchased 60 million shares of the listed entity, which brought its stake to more than 50%.
Novena Square is one of the office buildings within the property investment portfolio of UOL Group (Credit: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
UIC has a portfolio of office and retail properties totalling 3.42 million sq ft in net floor area. Office buildings include Singapore Land Tower, Clifford Centre and The Gateway, while retail properties are West Mall and Marina Square shopping mall.
UOL’s property investments include office complexes such as Novena Square, United Square, Odeon Towers..., United Square