UEM Sunrise lifts payout ratio, posts higher 4Q profit on land sales

TheEdge Tue, Feb 27, 2024 08:01pm - 1 month View Original

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 27): UEM Sunrise Bhd is lifting its dividend payout to 40%-60% of net profit, from 20%-40% currently, as part of its dividend policy revision that was approved on Tuesday.

“The company will maintain the dividend policy subject to ongoing assessment depending on the availability of distributable reserves as well as the company's future cash flow requirements and market conditions,” UEM Sunrise said in its filing.

The payout is subject to availability of distributable reserves and adequate free cash flow from operations, it said.

In a separate filing, UEM Sunrise declared a dividend of 0.75 sen per share for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2023 (4QFY2023), which is higher compared to 0.5 sen a year ago.

Its 4QFY2023 net profit rose 33.59% to RM27.34 million from RM20.46 million a year prior, as higher revenue more than offset higher finance costs and a swing to the red by its joint venture and associates.

Quarterly earnings per share rose to 0.54 sen from 0.41 sen in 4QFY2022.

Revenue rose 25.51% year-on-year to RM421.97 million from RM336.22 million, lifted by RM150 million in land sales in the quarter versus RM61 million in 4QFY2022.

For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2023 (FY2023), UEM Sunrise's net profit slipped 5.97% to RM75.73 million or 1.50 sen per share, from RM80.54 million or 1.59 sen per share, dragged by impairment in Haute Property Sdn Bhd.

Revenue fell 9.12% to RM1.34 billion from RM1.47 billion a year prior, due to higher revenue in FY2022 from the completion of Residensi Solaris Parq in Mont Kiara, and higher settlement from its Australian projects.

In 2023, UEM Sunrise had launches worth RM3.6 billion in gross development value (GDV). This year, it planned GDV launches of just RM800 million. Sales target has been set at RM1 billion versus RM2.1 billion sales in 2023. Unbilled sales stood at RM2.7 billion at end-December.

“Our performance this year will also be supported by divestment of non-strategic land and non-core assets, for which the key focus will be securing the necessary approvals for our previously announced land sales in Tapah, Perak as well as in Iskandar Puteri.

“The proposed divestment of our interest in Durban, South Africa is still ongoing and expected to [be completed] by the end of 2024,” it said.

UEM Sunrise shares settled two sen or 1.89% lower at RM1.04, giving it a market capitalisation of RM5.26 billion. The counter rose 27% this year.

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