The Property Division’s revenue of $1.8 billion for FY 2017 was $253 million or 12% lower than FY 2016, due mainly to lower revenue from China and Singapore, partly offset by higher revenue from Vietnam.
The Division’s FY 2017 net profit of $685 million was $65 million or 10% higher than FY 2016. This was mainly due to divestment gains of $212 million, as well as higher fair value gains on investment properties.
In FY 2017, the Division contributed 82% of the Group’s net profit, excluding Keppel Offshore & Marine's one‑off financial penalty from the global resolution and related costs.
|Earnings Highlights ($m)|
|Profit before Tax||868||759||848|
|Average Headcount (Number)||3,257||3,733||4,230|
Market sentiments in the Singapore residential market have been improving, on the back of successful launches, a surge in collective sales and an improved economic outlook. In 2017, Keppel Land sold about 380 residential units in Singapore, similar to the sales volume for 2016. About 70% of the sales came from The Glades and Highline Residences.
In line with strong demand for Keppel Land’s projects in Singapore, The Glades was fully sold out in August 2017, ahead of its Additional Buyers Stamp Duty deadline. Meanwhile, Highline Residences was almost fully sold as at end‑January 2018. Both Reflections and Corals at Keppel Bay saw healthy demand, and were 88% and 73% sold respectively as at end‑December 2017.
Despite continued property cooling measures in Tier‑1 and Tier‑2 cities, Keppel Land achieved steady sales in China for 2017. With rising affluence and increasing urbanisation driving demand, Keppel Land sold 3,725 homes in China, slightly lower than the 3,800 homes sold in 2016. Take up in China came mostly from Tianjin Eco‑City, V City and Park Avenue Heights in Chengdu, as well as Waterfront Residences in Wuxi. During the year, Keppel Land also started selling strata‑titled units in the newly‑renovated K‑Plaza, located in Shanghai, China.
Over in Vietnam, Keppel Land saw strong demand for its residential properties in 2017. During the year, Keppel Land launched Tilia Residences in Phase 2 of Empire City, which registered strong sales of 454 units out of a total of 472. Correspondingly, Keppel Land sold a total of about 1,110 units in Vietnam in 2017, some 27% lower than the 1,520 units sold in the previous year, due to the timing of project launches.
Keppel Land also ramped up its commercial presence in Vietnam and Myanmar with the completion of two mixed‑use developments. At Saigon Centre Phase 2 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, about 80% of the office space has been leased out to multinational corporations including AIA, Lazada, Chanel, Country Garden and Royal Thai. Meanwhile, Junction City Tower in Yangon, Myanmar, secured established tenants including Allen & Gledhill, WongPartnership, Samsung and the British Chamber of Commerce.
Urbanisation will continue to drive growth in Vietnam and Myanmar. As an early entrant into these fast‑growing markets, Keppel Land is well positioned to value add to businesses and consumers as a provider of high‑quality homes and offices.
Capital Recycling for Higher Returns
In 2017, Keppel Land announced five divestments worth about $1 billion, including the sale of stakes in waterfront projects in Zhongshan and Nantong, both in China, as well as long‑held development sites in Surabaya and Bali, in Indonesia.
In tandem, nine acquisitions worth about $1.6 billion were announced, including residential sites in Singapore, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, as well as an office and retail mixed‑use development in Shanghai, China.
To generate the best risk‑adjusted returns, Keppel Land will continue to explore opportunities to unlock capital, and reinvest by acquiring new sites as well as completed commercial projects.
Reinvesting for Growth
During the year, Keppel Land continued to strengthen its presence in its core markets of Singapore and China, as well as its growth markets of Vietnam and Indonesia. It also expanded into Thailand through new acquisitions. In total, Keppel Land replenished its pipeline with over 5,710 homes in 2017.
In Singapore, Keppel Land and Wing Tai jointly acquired a prime residential site in Serangoon North, which will yield over 600 homes in an attractive and mature residential estate. Overseas, Keppel Land continued to expand its footprint across all key cities, securing a large‑scale site in Wuxi, China; two residential sites in Saigon South and District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; a residential site in the Central Business District (CBD) in Jakarta, Indonesia, and two freehold sites along Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, Thailand.
Market Review & Outlook
A pick up in residential and commercial real estate sentiments accompanied Singapore’s 3.6% economic growth in 2017. In Singapore, new home sales reached 10,600 units, 33% higher than the year before. Prices also rose in 3Q 2017, with private residential prices reversing 15 quarters of decline. For the whole of 2017, prices rose 1.1% compared to a 3.1% drop in 2016. Over in the commercial space, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) reported that Grade A office rents in the CBD rose 3.3% year‑on‑year and are expected to continue rising in tandem with Singapore's economic growth and the absorption of existing stock.
En bloc sales have also lifted the property market, fuelling demand for replacement units while providing developers with the opportunity to replenish their landbanks. Capitalising on positive market sentiments, Keppel Land is launching its joint venture condominium project, The Garden Residences, in Serangoon North in 2018. Keppel Land is also studying the redevelopment of Keppel Towers and Nassim Woods to add another 500 homes in prime locations, which will boost its Singapore landbank to 1,700 homes.
Rapid urbanisation and a burgeoning middle‑class population will continue to drive demand for quality homes and prime commercial space in Asia. Riding on these trends, Keppel Land will continue to tap demand with more than 15,800 overseas launch‑ready homes over the next three years.
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 6.9% in 2017, up from the previous year’s 6.7%. Strong domestic consumption, a robust service sector and government infrastructure spending continued to underpin the economy. However, GDP growth is expected to be slower in 2018 alongside further property tightening measures targeted at dampening speculation and curbing runaway prices. Nonetheless, China’s property market will continue to be supported by rising affluence and demand from the growing urban population.
In Vietnam, GDP grew at an estimated 6.8% in 2017, with similar growth targeted for 2018. Demand outstripped supply in the residential market, which saw about 32,900 homes sold compared with 31,100 units launched in Ho Chi Minh City. Average selling prices also increased by about 4% year‑on‑year and the healthy demand for homes is expected to continue. With its sizeable landbank of 20,000 units, which can be launched in quick succession over the next few years, Keppel Land is poised to meet the robust demand for homes in the city. Office take‑up in Ho Chi Minh City was healthy, lifting Grade A rents by 4.8% even as two new Grade A buildings totalling 61,200 square metres (sm) entered the market. The retail market also saw healthy growth and tight supply, with the CBD experiencing full occupancy in existing malls.
In Indonesia, the economy is expected to grow above 5% per annum through to 2020. While there is an oversupply of condominiums, the landed residential market in Jakarta and Greater Jakarta is expected to remain resilient. Tangerang, where Keppel Land’s The Riviera at Puri project is located, will continue to be a sought‑after residential area due to its good connectivity and amenities.
With a pipeline of about 63,000 residential units and a total commercial footprint of 1.5 million sm of gross floor area, Keppel Land is well positioned to capitalise on demand for homes, office and retail space in its target markets.
KLOUD, a New Generation Serviced Co-Office
With rising real estate costs and smart technology transforming the way we work, co‑working spaces have become increasingly popular globally. Co‑working provides an innovative alternative to traditional office spaces, riding on the shared economy.
To meet the growing demand in this niche market, Keppel Land launched KLOUD, a new generation serviced co‑office catering to companies looking for flexible spaces.
Keppel Land’s flagship co‑office KLOUD Keppel Bay Tower boasts 18,000 square feet (sf) of smart office space. Since its opening, the co‑working space has attracted start‑ups, small and medium‑sized enterprises, and multinational companies from a diverse mix of industries.
KLOUD features an office‑apartment concept, offering a cosy shared‑working environment. Through an integrated smart office mobile application, users can access KLOUD facilities around the clock and enjoy other lifestyle offerings by Keppel Land, including the rental of serviced residences.
To date, KLOUD has also been introduced to Vietnam and Myanmar, bringing Keppel Land's total serviced co‑office footprint to about 60,000 sf.
Looking ahead, Keppel Land plans to operate a KLOUD centre in each of the markets where it operates.