30/07/2009 - 00:00

Developers hit by market slowdown

30/07/2009 - 00:00

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THE tough conditions experienced by developers during the past six months have been reflected in half-yearly results, with major property developers Australand and Port Bouvard announcing significant losses.

Developers hit by market slowdown

THE tough conditions experienced by developers during the past six months have been reflected in half-yearly results, with major property developers Australand and Port Bouvard announcing significant losses.

Como-based Port Bouvard announced an unaudited $29 million net loss for the 2009 financial year, including "in excess of $30 million" of asset impairment charges as a result of deteriorations in property markets.

Port Bouvard said the write-downs put its net tangible assets per share backing at 84 cents, down from $1.13.

"Whilst the write-downs in asset carrying values are non-cash accounting adjustments, the board and new management believe it prudent to reflect conservative asset values on the company's balance sheet in these challenging economic times," Port Bouvard said in a statement.

The company said its valuations were based on independent valuations or net present values with indicative project internal rates of return of more than 25 per cent.

"This is a proactive approach by the board and new management to acknowledge current market conditions, and continue to demonstrate and recognise the long-term development value for Port Bouvard's shareholders."

Port Bouvard said it was continuing to satisfy all its banking requirements and would release audited financial results once the full-year audit process is finalised.

Meanwhile, national developer Australand announced a loss for the half-year ended June 30 2009 of $269 million after tax, reflecting investment property write-downs of $235 million and development and joint venture inventory impairments of $93 million.

Before the write-downs, Australand achieved an operating profit after tax of $60 million.

Australand managing director Bob Johnston said in a statement all of the company's divisions contributed to the operating profit, despite the difficult market conditions experienced.

Its developments include Port Coogee south of Fremantle, which it said had experienced lower sales volumes in the half-year.

Australand said 35 per cent of future revenue in its residential division would originate from Western Australia, on the back of wholly owned Australand projects at Cockburn Central and Port Coogee, and joint ventures at Yanchep Beach and Byford.

Australand also announced it would be conducting a seven-for-10 non-renounceable pro-rata entitlement offer of new stapled securities to raise about $475 million.

Major security holder of Australand, CapitaLand has committed to take up its full entitlement of about $282 million, a move Australand said demonstrated CapitaLand's confidence in the company and the property market.

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