The Nation



Ananda plans to launch 13 residential projects in '14

ANANDA DEVELOPMENT plans to launch 13 residential projects worth Bt30 billion combined in order to boost presales to Bt24 billion and revenue to at least Bt12 billion next year, the listed company's president and CEO Chanond Ruangkritya said during an interview with The Nation.

Meanwhile, the ongoing political uncertainty has not affected Ananda's business plan for either this year or next, he said.

"Our customers have continued to have their homes transferred, and have also been visiting our projects. Although the number of visitors is lower than normal, it has not impacted on our sales in the current quarter," he added.

Chanond said the company was maintaining its presales target of Bt20 billion for this year, while next year's target is Bt24 billion because most of its residential projects are located close to the mass-transit system, where there is continuing strong demand.

The developer currently has a backlog worth Bt24.9 billion of homes already sold and waiting to be transferred to customers through to 2015.

"Our customer target is both domestic and foreign buyers who plan to stay in Bangkok and also invest in the property sector," he said, adding that up to 20 per cent of its customers that have bought units in its condominium projects are investors from countries and territories such as Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Some of them have bought a condominium for investment purposes by making it available for rent, a move which enables them to generate an average return on investment of 6 per cent a year.

"We believe demand from foreign buyers will continue to grow, especially among those who use Bangkok as their residential hub when they expand their investment in the Asean Economic Community," said the company chief.

Ananda has also set aside Bt5 billion to buy undeveloped land for the development of residential projects over the next two years, with money coming from cash flow and possibly a debenture issue.

A debenture would not, however, push the company's debt-to-equity ratio above 2:1, he stressed. Its current D/E ratio is 1.75:1. "We expect our financial results will show a net profit this year, after showing a loss in the first nine months, as most of our condominium projects are ready to be transferred and booked as revenue in this quarter and during next year," he said.

It has taken time to show a net profit because of all of the developer's projects are condominiums that require between two and two and a half years for construction and transfer. As a result, Ananda had to shoulder more expansion costs in the first two years when launching condo projects, he explained. "When these condominium projects are completed, they will go into our business cycle to generate income and show net profits. This will start at the end of this year, through to the next," he said.

Ananda posted revenue of Bt3.12 billion and a net loss of Bt187.45 million for the first nine months of this year.

Balancing the business cycle

Chanond said the developer now planned to balance its business cycle by launching both condominiums and low-rise residential projects next year. Eight of the 13 projects set to be launched in 2014 will be condominiums, while the other five will be townhouse projects.

The idea on the low-rise front is to develop detached housing as well as townhouses, but the initial focus will be on townhouse projects located close to the mass-transit system. They will generate income next year and help balance the portfolio to provide stable income in the long term, he said.

Meanwhile, Ananda MF Asia, the company's joint venture with Mitsui Fudosan Residential - a subsidiary of Mitsui Fudosan Group, a leading property firm in Japan - is continuing the development of residential projects costing more than Bt5 billion. Its first Thai project, the Bt6-billion Ideo Q Chula-Samyan, has already been sold out.

"Our joint-venture firm will focus on the largest-scale projects located close to the mass-transit system," Chanond said.

The company's business strategy is to continue to develop condominium and townhouse projects near to the mass-transit system, as that is where home-buyers want to be situated, he added.

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