SDB to Advance Prudently on Volatile Market Conditions

Business

Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB), one of Malaysia’s niche boutique developers, concluded its fully virtual 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the company is adopting a prudent approach for the next 12 months in view of volatile market conditions and economic uncertainties.

Reviewing its performance for the financial year ended 31st March 2020, SDB Chairman Eddy Chieng explained that the Group navigated a very challenging environment with external uncertainties, weaker economic conditions as well as the resulting Movement Control Order (MCO) which was implemented in Malaysia from 18th March and in Singapore from the 4th of April 2020. 


Financial Performance and Review of Operations 

Overall, the Group registered a pre-tax profit of RM6.58 million on the back of a marginally lower turnover of RM243.85 million. 

After accounting for taxation, the SDB Group posted a net loss of RM4.48 million, compared to RM 24.42 million net profit posted in the previous corresponding period. This is because of a once-off impairment costs for four pieces of land held for development amounting to a total of RM 14 million.

During the year under review, the Group focused primarily on unsold stock for completed developments together with developments under construction. SDB’s Group Managing Director, Teh Lip Kim said that the Group will continue with marketing efforts for its existing projects, namely SqWhere and UNA in Malaysia, together with JUI Residences and One Draycott in Singapore. 

SqWhere in Sungai Buloh was completed in July 2019 and has been well received due to its excellent connectivity. SqWhere is directly connected to the Kampung Selamat MRT Station via a 75m direct link bridge and has easy accessibility to major expressways. Over in Cheras, under construction is UNA located at Jalan Peel. Comprising 316 units of service apartments, with retail units on the Ground Floor, UNA is located directly opposite the Sunway Velocity Mall with close proximity to the Maluri and Cochrane MRT Stations. 

Across the Causeway in Singapore, the Group’s waterfront development called JUI Residences located along Serangoon Road in District 12 has also been warmly received. The development overlooks the Kallang River and has a conserved building, the National Aerated Water Company (NAWC) factory within the premises. JUI Residences comprises 117 units of apartments with art-deco inspired elements from NAWC into the development. 

Meanwhile, there has also been interest in One Draycott located at District 10, mere minutes away from the Scotts/Orchard Road shopping belt. When completed, this single tower project with striking gold and black façade would feature 64 exclusive units. 

In the hospitality division, Hotel Maya located on Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur saw an increase in occupancy rates of 45%, an improvement from the 38% posted in the previous year. The increase in occupancy was mainly due to various initiatives undertaken to revive the brand, coupled with efforts to make the hotel more appealing to guests. 

Currently, the Hotel is embarking on a refurbishing programme to make it more appealing. When completed, refurbished rooms would feature a Malaysian heritage concept with batik designs produced by local artisans from Kelantan. 

With regards to the Group’s involvement in the mining sector, its associate company Fortress Minerals Limited is a leading high-grade iron ore producer in Bukit Besi, Terengganu. It has contributed RM8.34 million of net profit to the Group during the financial year. 

Awards 

The Group was awarded the FIABCI World Gold Award in May 2019 for its development Village at Pasir Panjang for the Residential (Low Rise) category in the prestigious FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards held in Moscow, Russia.

At the same time, Hijauan on Cavenagh in Singapore was the award winner for Residential Development in Singapore at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2019 held at Bangkok, Thailand. SDB’s Property Management arm was also awarded a Gold award for the Edge Best Managed Property Award for Windows On The Park in the Edge-Prop ILAM Malaysia’s Sustainable Landscape Award and Bronze for Below 10 years Multi-own Strata Residential Category. 

Cost Savings Measures & Moving Forward 

Its Managing Director Teh Lip Kim explained during the Company’s virtual AGM that the Group has embarked on various cost-savings measures, including a 20 per cent reduction in Director’s fees. “In our efforts to become more prudent, various departments have also been directed to trim operational costs”, said Teh Lip Kim, adding that employees are also multitasking. 

The Hotel also implemented cost cutting measures by reducing outsourced workers, freezing various positions in F&B and Engineering and operational cost by energy saving measures. 

On upcoming launches, Ms Teh said that SDB plans to launch a project in Singapore called Myra towards end-2020. “Myra would be located at Meyappa Chettiar Road and Woodsville Close in District 13. Compromising only 85 residences in 12 storeys, this freehold development is located 150meters from the Potong Pasir MRT station,” she said. 

In Malaysia, in the pipeline include two distinct projects: condo villas in Serdang and Melawati – just on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. 

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