EcoFirst remains profitable in 1Q21 despite RMCO

  • Upcoming mixed development in Cahaya SPK, Seksyen U9, Shah Alam with RM311 million Gross Development Value to propel future earnings
  • Focused on strategy to acquire strategic lands with fast turnaround model

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 October 2020 – Property developer EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd (EcoFirst, 怡嘉控股, Bloomberg: ECOF:MK; Reuters: ECOF.KL) remained profitable in the first quarter ended 31 August 2020 (1Q21) with net profit of RM0.2 million on revenue of RM16.2 million, despite challenging conditions amidst Malaysia’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) during the quarter.

The property development segment was the main contributor to the Group’s performance, reporting revenue of RM12.3 million, which came primarily from handover progress of the Liberty @ Ampang Ukay project, and complemented by sale of completed properties at Kondominium Kelab Golf, Ipoh, Perak.

The property investment segment, comprising South City Plaza mall in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, contributed RM3.1 million in revenue.

EcoFirst Group Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Tiong Kwing Hee said that the Group is expecting to register stable performance for the financial year ending 31 May 2021 (FY21), to be backed by new project launches.

“The Group’s FY21 performance would benefit from the upcoming RM311 million mixed development in the rapidly developing Cahaya SPK area in Shah Alam. The project, expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2021, is designed to meet the immediate needs of locals, including satisfying criteria of affordability, quality, and good locality.

We are also awaiting approvals for upcoming new phases at our 87-acre Ampang Ukay land in Kuala Lumpur city centre, which recorded 100% take up for the first phase of 1,632 SoHo units. This is complemented by ongoing negotiations for more land deals in Klang Valley that can provide quick turnaround. Overall, we are making good progress in these undertakings, which could potentially boost prospects for FY21 and beyond.

Furthermore, we continue to work with mall tenants at South City Plaza to enhance business sustainability amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The rental rebates given during March to May 2020 had significantly helped our mall tenants, as well as maintained mall occupancy rate at a sustainable level of above 80% with continued recurring income contribution to the Group.”

Dato Tiong Kwing Hee (拿督张建飞)
Group Chief Executive Officer, EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd

The property management segment contributed RM0.7 million in revenue while investment and others made up RM0.1 million in 1Q21.

In comparison, the Group registered revenue of RM33.9 million and net profit of RM1.5 million in the previous corresponding quarter ended 31 August 2019 (1Q20). The 1Q21 performance was due to lower property billings in line with the completion of Liberty @ Ampang Ukay project, the first phase of its Ampang Ukay flagship development, and lower recurring income due to rental rebates given to South City Plaza mall tenants amidst Malaysia’s RMCO period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The performance was also affected as the Group’s land acquisition targets and new project launches faced slower progress due to the RMCO, while seeking approvals for the second phase of its Ampang Ukay project.

The upcoming RM311 million mixed development in Cahaya SPK, Shah Alam would feature condominium units priced below the RM300,000 mark, in addition to commercial and retail components. The ongoing acquisition of the 4.76-acre project land is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020 pending fulfilment of conditions by the vendor and authority’s consent.

Upon completion, the Group’s total landbank would increase to 91.76 acres from 87 acres as at 15 October 2020, which can last the Group up to 14 years.

About EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd (http://www.ecofirst.com.my/)

Established in 1973, EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd is a public listed company with core businesses in property development, property investment holding and property management.

Steadfast in delivering its projects, EcoFirst revived and completed its 1Segamat Mall, the first and only commercial complex in Segamat. Its South City Plaza in Sri Kembangan is now home to Malaysia largest digital devices accessories outlet and china products centre whilst transforming into an edu-mall completed with student-housing apartment, The Academia. It has also developed Kondominium Kelab Golf previously known as Upper East @ Tiger Lane, a luxury condominium project in Ipoh, Perak and has acquired a substantial land bank in the Klang Valley.

The Group is currently developing its flagship development in Ampang Ukay, which is envisioned to be the little Hong Kong of Kuala Lumpur, offering retail convenience, quality amenities, pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environments, vibrant nightlife, and a strong neighbourhood character. The township borders Ampang, a prime district within Kuala Lumpur and its bustling neighbourhood, Ulu Klang. Conveniently located only 7 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur City Centre and 12 minutes to major areas such as Hartamas, Damansara and major highways, Ampang Ukay offers multiple access points and endless connectivity to its residents. This massive undertaking is intended to make available a series of successive developments bringing superior quality residential and commercial offerings that will transform Ampang Ukay towards a new-age dimension; at the best value in this prestigious part of town.