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    LH allots for growth and further land buys

    BackJan 26, 2012

    PROPERTY

    B3bn property fund also part of plans

    Land & Houses Plc (LH), the SETlisted developer, is aiming for sales growth of 14.7% to 22 billion baht this year and has set aside 5 billion baht to purchase more land.

    Naporn Sunthornchitcharoen, a senior executive vice-president, said the company ended 2011 with bookings totalling 19.2 billion baht,the largest portion of 33% from housing units priced at 3-5 million baht, followed by 24% from units of 5-7 million baht.

    LH expects an average price per unit of 4.78 million baht in 2012. Of total revenue in 2011,75% was generated by single houses, 19% by condominiums and 6% by townhouses.

    Mr Naporn said the company's plans call for 16 new projects this year with a combined value of 32.6 billion baht, bringing total available projects to 71 at the end of this year.

    Adisorn Thananan-narapool, a senior vice-president, said 5 billion baht will be set aside for land acquisition in locations with high potential for immediate development.

    LH also plans an additional 880 million baht in spending to develop properties for rent.

    Last year, the company's total investment was nearly 10 billion baht  5.12 billion for land acquisition,1.8 billion for its Land and House Bank and 2.4 billion for construction of Terminal 21 shopping centre on Sukhumvit Road.

    Mr Adisorn said LH plans to issue 6 billion baht worth of debentures, of which 4 billion baht will be issued in the first quarter and the rest in the third quarter.

    The company wants to establish a property fund of 3 billion baht, with three serviced apartment projects to be underlying assets.

    Mr Adisorn noted that the company and its subsidiaries have total debt of 25.9 billion baht while holding cash of 900 million baht, resulting in net debt of 25 billion baht.

    At this level of debt, LH's debt-toequity ratio at the end of last year stood at 0.85 times, up from 0.71 times in 2010.

    Regarding last year's property situation, Mr Adisorn said the floods hurt market sentiment and caused a reduction in newly registered housing units during the first 11 months of last year to 77,351 units from 96,938 in 2010.

    Total newly registered housing units are estimated at 83,000 for all of 2011,down by 22.4% from 2010.

    Of the total, 20,000 will be selfbuilt units and 63,000 developed by property companies.

    LH shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 6.40 baht, down 10 satang, in trade worth 36.2 million baht.

     

    BANGKOK POST
    26 January 2012