WOTSO Opens the Doors to Its Coworking Workspace in Malaysia
WOTSO WorkSpace (“WOTSO”), one of Australia’s largest flexible workspace providers has started its first operations in Malaysia. The large facility offers coworking, hot desks, offices, meeting rooms and event space in Mercu Summer Suites, a project under UEM Sunrise Berhad (“UEM Sunrise”), one of Malaysia’s leading property developers and Master developer of Iskandar Puteri.
WOTSO which seeks to excite individuals and corporates ranging from freelancers, start-ups, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to large multinational organisations is located right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur within minutes-walk from KLCC, Dang Wangi LRT and Bukit Nanas Monorail stations.
“The public’s understanding of WOTSO’s business and businesses like it has grown since we commenced operations in Australia 4 years ago” said BlackWall’s Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Brown. “Concepts like “collaborative workspace”, “flexible office space” and “office as a service” are all now well understood by the market.”
The coworking market has grown significantly over the past 5 years. “Lately we are seeing global operators growing significantly by overcommitting to conventional lease arrangements and high end fit out, particularly in the CBD of capital cities. It seems the justification for this is to chase scale or network regardless of profit,” said Brown.
“We have a feeling that this style of business will prove to be unsustainable when the hype subsides. We hope to be in a position to take advantage of the modification if it comes. In the meantime, we will continue to grow through the organic expansion of our sustainable financial model and leverage from our association with a reputable brand like UEM Sunrise that embodies the same vision in creativity and innovation.”
Kenny Wong, Chief Marketing Officer of UEM Sunrise also chimed in that the symbiotic partnership is aligned with UEM Sunrise’s vision, ‘Building communities of the future with you and for you’. “We are always mindful of designing sustainable environments that nurtures community building which includes investments in technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. It is very exciting to be one of the players in Malaysia that continuously adds value to the creative economy. Although the coworking concept is trending in Malaysia, it is still considered a new market with unlimited growth potential. We are confident that WOTSO, being one of the most established coworking space operators in Australia, will be able to provide unique and forward-thinking offerings with their experience and expertise.”
WOTSO is already benefitting from its association with UEM Sunrise. One of its first customers will be a project team which consists of 7 employees who will begin working from the space this week for 6 months, proving that WOTSO can be a solution to large corporates with short term or flexible space needs. The 14,000 sqft hub is large enough to accommodate over 220 members.
WOTSO has a network of 13 locations in Australia and through its “passport programme”, WOTSO members are entitled to work from any location at any time. The passport applies to members from Australia travelling to Malaysia and vice versa. It prides itself to be beyond sharing infrastructure and cost, but belonging to a community, accessibility and sustainability. Unlike the majority of coworking operators, WOTSO does not lock its clients into long term contracts. Instead, it gives flexibility with all offerings available by the day, week or month. For more information on WOTSO visit wotso.com
UEM SUNRISE ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR ENDED 2018 SALES TARGET EXCEEDED, AUSTRALIAN PROJECTS DELIVERED ON TRACK
KUALA LUMPUR, 26 February 2019 – UEM Sunrise Berhad (“UEM Sunrise” or the “Company”) today announced its financial results for the financial year ended 31 December 2018 (“FY2018”) where total revenue recorded for the year increased to RM2,044.0 million compared to RM1,860.6 million reported for the financial year ended 31 December 2017 (“FY2017”) driven by the recognition of ongoing local developments, completion and partial settlement of Conservatory and Aurora Melbourne Central and non-strategic asset divestment. Profit after tax and noncontrolling interests for the year increased to RM280.3 million, an increase of approximately 166% compared to RM105.6 million for FY2017 on the back of strong revenue growth, development cost savings and contribution from non-strategic asset divestment.
Property development activities accounted for 70% of total revenue, an improvement of 14% compared to FY2017 with 46% contributed from international projects followed by 30% from the southern region and 24% central. The largest contributor was Conservatory followed by Aurora Melbourne Central, both in Melbourne and Almas in Puteri Harbour, Iskandar Puteri. In line with the Company’s land portfolio rebalancing strategy, UEM Sunrise has also recognised land disposal amounted to RM457.4 million. Its unbilled sales as at 31 December 2018 stood at RM4.4 billion.
Property development sales for the year was RM1,433.0 million, higher by 19% than its RM1.2 billion sales target. Slightly more than half of the sales was contributed from the central region mainly from its developments in Mont’Kiara led by Residensi Solaris Parq, Kondominium Kiara Kasih and the recently launched Residensi Astrea. 32% of the total property sales was from the southern region headed by Serimbun, Estuari Gardens in Puteri Harbour and the Company’s first commercial development launched in December last year, 68O Avenue, all located in Iskandar Puteri. The remaining 14% was from projects in Melbourne, particularly Mayfair. UEM Sunrise launched projects with total Gross Development Value (“GDV”) of RM907.9 million in 2018.
Commenting on the financial results, Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UEM Sunrise said, “2018 saw the completion of several major projects especially in the second half of the year contributing to a stronger revenue compared to last year. We delivered the fully-sold Acacia and Begonia, the first two phases of our prized mid-market residential development in Serene Heights Bangi followed by premium landed Estuari Gardens and high-rise Almas both in Puteri Harbour. In January this year, we completed and delivered Denai Nusantara, a Rumah Mampu Biaya Johor in Iskandar Puteri and plan to deliver Sefina Residences in Mont’Kiara as well as Camellia of Serene Heights Bangi”.
“In Australia, we completed 207 units of the first separable portion of Aurora Melbourne Central, SP3 totaling a GDV of AUD115.1 million as well as 421 units of Conservatory, SP1 and SP2 with total GDV of AUD298.5 million. The handover of the completed units is on track and as at 15 February 2019, we are pleased to reveal that 201 units of Aurora Melbourne Central have been handed over to the respective buyers, a settlement rate of over 97%; while for Conservatory, 289 units have been handed over, reflecting a settlement rate of 68%. We have also obtained the required settlement proceeds to repay the entire project financing loan for Conservatory. The remaining separable portions for both projects will be completed and delivered progressively throughout 2019”.
Touching on sales contribution, “We have exceeded our sales target amidst the challenging property market environment. We view the outlook to remain challenging but offerings with unique value proposition and within strategic locations in combination with attractive pricing packages, should continue to encourage demand and create sales. We successfully launched five new projects with GDV of RM907.9 million. In Mont’ Kiara, Residensi Astrea, a high-rise residential development comprising 240 units with GDV of RM323.0 million was launched in October achieving a take-up of 52% whilst Kondominium Kiara Kasih, 719 units of affordable homes, with GDV of RM215.7 million launched in March 2018 achieved a take-up of 91%. We also launched Eugenia, Serene Heights Bangi’s latest phase, GDV of RM62.5 million with take-up of 57% to-date. In addition to the successful launches, the Group’s emphasis on inventory monetisation has proven to be effective with RM433.3 million sales derived from completed properties driven by smart marketing, repricing strategy as well as sundry offers, that further enhanced the properties’ value proposition”.
On new project launches, “For 2019, we are targeting to launch a total GDV of RM1.2 billion focusing on mid-market and reasonably sized pocket launches in mature locations. We started the year with the launch of Aspira ParkHomes, 162 units of mid-market double-storey homes with GDV of RM101.8 million in Gerbang Nusajaya with further phase planned in the second half of this year. We are also looking at launching another Serimbun 2 in Iskandar Puteri in view of the positive interest of the initial Serimbun launched in February last year. And due to the continued interest on Serene Heights Bangi, additional phases are slated to be launched throughout 2019. A rather sizeable project to be launched this year is our new development in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur. We target to initially launch two residential towers before the end of the year”.
On asset divestment strategy, “Asset divestment remains one of the Company’s key strategies. In line with our land portfolio rebalancing strategy, land disposal totalling RM457.4 million was undertaken in Iskandar Puteri. More recently another pocket land also in Iskandar Puteri, has been slated for disposal for RM24.8 million, which we expect to complete in the second quarter of 2019. We plan to continue with our asset divestment plan in 2019 and has earmarked several nonstrategic assets for divestment amounting to RM300.0 million”.
He added, “In terms of new businesses, we unveiled Hyatt House Kuala Lumpur Mont’Kiara in December 2018 within the Arcoris development in Mont’Kiara. The 298-room residentially inspired extended stay hotel with restaurant and state-of-the-art facilities, is the first of its kind in South East Asia. In Puteri Harbour, as part of its rejuvenation plan, we are excited at the prospect of the development of the private marina, OneO 15 Puteri Harbour Marina and clubhouse together with our partner, ONE15 Marina Holdings Pte Ltd of Singapore. Construction is expected to commence towards the end of this year’s first quarter”.
The Company takes cognisance of the soft property market in the year ahead and will exercise prudence in facing the challenging environment. It remains pragmatic in its targets for 2019, despite exceeding sales target of RM1.2 billion and achieving RM1.43 billion in 2018. Its sales target for 2019 remains at RM1.2 billion whilst its GDV launches target is RM1.2 billion. Nonetheless, the Company is ready to activate further launches for 2019 depending on market conditions and opportunities. Its unbilled sales remain healthy at RM4.4 billion as at end of 2018.
UEM EDGENTA ANNOUNCES A 22% GROWTH IN NET PROFIT FOR FY2018
Kuala Lumpur, 25 February 2019 – UEM Edgenta Berhad (“UEM Edgenta” or “Company”), the region’s leading Asset Management and Infrastructure Solutions company, announced its unaudited consolidated results for the year ended 31 December 2018 (“FY2018”) today which saw it posting a net profit of RM152.2 million, a surge of 22% on a year-on-year (“Y-o-Y”) basis. This compares with a revenue growth of 3% over the same period.
Growth was attributed to a strong performance in Q4 FY2018 which registered a Profit Before Tax (“PBT”) of RM82.9 million, a threefold increase when compared to Q3 FY2018 PBT of RM25.1 million. This is on the back of a 23% increase in revenue to RM647.4 million in the quarter, which saw two of the Company’s core divisions, the Healthcare and Infrastructure Services divisions, contributing almost 90% of revenue and PBT for FY2018. On a Y-o-Y basis, the PBT for Q4 FY2018 was also 10% higher than Q4 FY2017 with a slight decline in revenue.
Amidst a challenging operating environment, UEM Edgenta was able to record a 3% increase in revenue to RM2.2 billion for FY 2018 as compared to FY 2017’s revenue of RM2.1 billion. The revenue growth was derived across all of UEM Edgenta’s major business divisions. PBT increased to RM198.2 million for FY2018 which was mainly due to improvements realised through group-wide efficiency and lower financing costs, resulting in a PBT margin increase to 9% in FY2018 as compared to 8% in FY2017.
Notably, the Healthcare Support division delivered a strong 8% increase in revenue and 7% increase in PBT on a Y-o-Y basis. Revenue grew on the back of new contracts secured in FY2018 in Singapore and Taiwan, coupled with a high customer retention rate of almost 90% in its commercial business. UEM Edgenta’s Healthcare Support division has also benefited from the continuous sharing of best practices and technology transfer between its concession and commercial businesses such as the introduction of UETrackTM, the commercial business’ proprietary technology for service delivery, in Malaysian Government hospitals. These practices, coupled with a healthy pipeline of new projects, will enable organic growth for UEM Edgenta in FY2019.
Over the course of FY2018, UEM Edgenta has implemented operational excellence initiatives such as the “Lean” programme to build capabilities across the Company via process improvements and training, as well as technology and innovation-centric programmes to tackle high-impact operational areas, all of which have started to bear fruit. Moving forward, UEM Edgenta will continue to optimise its profit margins via such initiatives.
Additionally, UEM Edgenta maintained its robust balance sheet with a net cash position of RM70.1 million as at end-2018. This was attributable to strong cashflow from operations of RM209.3 million in FY2018. UEM Edgenta was also able to maintain its gross gearing ratio at a conservative 0.35 times.
“Despite the disposal of OIC in December FY2017, our results have surpassed last year’s performance. UEM Edgenta’s full-year profit after tax and non-controlling interest of RM148.2 million was higher than last year’s profit of RM143.3 million when OIC’s share of profits was included. This increased profitability and consistent cashflow generation has enabled us to deliver yet another strong full year dividend payout of 14 sen our shareholders,” said Dato’ Azmir Merican, Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of UEM Edgenta.
Dato’ Azmir further commented, “We are happy to be able to deliver significant profit growth after the disposal of OIC, a major subsidiary. We pared down debt, redeployed cash and rewarded shareholders, and at the same time delivered better results and growth. We have leveraged on new technologies to drive our growth in shaping an operationally excellent environment not just for UEM Edgenta but for our clients’ businesses as well. We remain optimistic of our prospects in Healthcare and Infrastructure and as the industry leader in these sectors in the countries we operate, we will focus on protecting our market share, as well as expand and deepen our value chain offerings.”
Dividend for FY2018 On the back of profits generated for the financial year, coupled with its strong financial position as at end-2018, UEM Edgenta has declared a 2nd interim dividend for FY2018 of 8 sen.
Combined with the earlier 1st interim dividend of 6 sen declared in August 2018, total dividend payout is 14 sen and is equivalent to a payout ratio of 78.5% on FY2018’s results, in line with the Company’s enhanced dividend policy of at least 50% and up to 80% payout. The total dividend payout in FY2018 also represents a yield of 5.1% based on share price as at 31 December 2018 of RM2.72.
PLUS RECEIVED EXPRESSWAY OPERATION SAFETY PASSPORT (EOSP) ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNITION FROM NIOSH
PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) received Expressway Operation Safety Passport (EOSP) achievement recognition from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) when a total of 11,650 individuals, consisting of highway contractors and workers had completed their Basic Induction Safety Course and successfully obtained their safety passports from NIOSH since its introduction in 2017.
The EOSP Memorandum of Understanding Agreement signed in 2017 between PLUS and NIOSH made the company the first highway concessionaire to introduce Safety Passport in the country.
According to PLUS' Managing Director, Datuk Azman Ismail, "PLUS had introduced the EOSP in 2017 which requires all contractors, service providers or personnel undertaking maintenance activities, construction projects or routine work to obtain Security Passport from NIOSH before they can proceed with their work on the highway."
He stressed that safety is the most crucial element in the PLUS highway service and operations. The move to introduce the EOSP was aimed at encouraging and improving Occupational Safety and Health practices within the highway industry in general.
Before EOSP was introduced, 12 deaths were recorded among highway maintenance workers. The number dropped by 75 percent when only 3 cases were recorded in 2018.
"Individuals who had undergone the course and obtained EOSP Security Passport have higher awareness on safe practices while carrying out their work on the highways," Azman explained.
PLUS also hopes to improve the current EOSP module such as Traffic Management Plan, introducing Safety Vehicle as well as PLUS Innovation Solutions which are focused towards Zero Fatalities in high-risk areas.
"This benefits highway customers in general as accident risks on highways can be easily identified and reduced from time to time,” Azman said.
Reducing accident risks is in line with PLUS' aim in making highway travel safer, smoother and more comfortable for the customers at all times.
PLUS also presented EOSP Appreciation Certificates to 3 contractor partners who actively participated in the EOSP progra
Azman was quoted at an EOSP award ceremony officiated by NIOSH Chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, today. Also present was PLUS Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim.