Ecofirst Consolidated Bhd is preparing to launch new phases of its RM5 billion Ampang Ukay flagship mixed-development in Ampang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Tiong Kwing Hee said Ecofirst is in the midst of receiving approvals from authorities for the masterplan development.
Tiong said this will provide the group with a clear 12-year development plan for the 35.21-hectare site.
The Ampang Ukay project is located in the upscale locale of KL East and is envisioned to be the little Hong Kong of Kuala Lumpur, featuring residential, commercial, and institutional buildings.
The first phase of the development, Liberty @ Ampang Ukay, was launched in early 2017 and the take-up rate is 99 per cent as of May 6, 2020.
Liberty @ Ampang Ukay comprises three residential towers of 1,632 fully-furnished designer small-office home-office units measuring about 450 square feet each and 32 retail units.
Tiong said the strong take-up rate highlighted the robust demand for homes that combine affordability and premium designs in strategic locations.
“Being the first of our RM5 billion Ampang Ukay development, the success of Liberty @ Ampang Ukay points towards a promising future for the group,” he said in a statement today.
Ecofirst had been targeting to launch phase two of the Ampang Ukay development in the second half of 2019.
It was reported that Phase 2 is a condominium development, which carries a GDV of RM600 million, offering 656 bigger size units spread across three towers.
Phase 3 of the development was expected to be a mixed development, comprising residential towers and commercial lots.
Ecofirst expects to remain profitable
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Ecofirst said its net profit fell 20.1 per cent to RM5.4 million for the third quarter ended February 29, 2020 (Q32020) from RM6.7 million in the same period last year.
The group’s revenue declined 24.7 per cent to RM43.3 million from RM57.5 million previously, attributable to Liberty @ Ampang Ukay, which reached the tail-end of construction progress.
Liberty @ Ampang Ukay, with a gross development value of RM606.8 million, was completed on January 10, 2020.
For the nine-months ended February 29, 2020, Ecofirst recorded a 21.2 per cent decline in revenue to RM125.7 million compared with RM159.5 million in the same period last year due to lower property sales.
The group’s net profit fell 3.1 per cent to RM15 million for the nine-months, from RM15.5 million previously.
Ecofirst said that despite the challenging operating environment, it is expected to remain profitable in the financial year ending May 31, 2020.
Tiong said Ecofirst is identifying pockets of land which the group aims to quickly turnaround and boost its earnings sustainability.
The group’s property investment segment via South City Plaza is also expected to contribute rental income despite the disruptions from the movement control order (MCO).
“In the long-term, the board expects the mall’s vibrancy and footfall to improve with the addition of the upcoming Seri Kembangan MRT line connectivity,” it said.
The one million square feet mall in Seri Kembangan has over 310 stores.