CapitaLand 1st-Quarter Profit Rises 41% on Gains in Home Sales

CapitaLand Ltd., Southeast Asia’s biggest developer, said first-quarter profit rose 41 percent on higher home sales in Singapore and China.

Net income climbed to S$188.2 million ($152 million) in the three months ended March 31, from S$133.2 million a year earlier, the Singapore-based developer said in a stock exchange statement today. Sales rose 3.2 percent to S$661.9 million.

CapitaLand is reorganizing into four main units to help focus on its key markets and has said it may exit some projects in the U.K., India and the Middle East. The developer in January said it will focus on China and Singapore, its two biggest markets by assets.

“We will sharpen our focus on the two key markets of Singapore and China for sustainable growth,” Lim Ming Yan, president and group chief executive officer at CapitaLand said in the statement. “The group’s recent streamlining in January allows us to be more nimble and able to respond more quickly to market opportunities.”

CapitaLand said it sold 544 residential units in the island state valued at S$1.3 billion in the quarter, matching the sales value for all of last year. Its China business sold 955 units for about S$400 million, a threefold increase over the same period a year ago.

Singapore’s March home sales rose to a record as more developers started marketing new residential projects, raising concerns the government will introduce more cooling measures to tame property prices.

Prices climbed to a record in the first quarter, according to government data on April 1. The latest measures in January, the seventh round of curbs in about four years, included an increase in the stamp duties for homebuyers by 5 percentage points to 7 percentage points.

CapitaLand’s two core markets of Singapore and China accounted for 81.2 percent of the group’s profit before interest and tax as of March 31, the company said today.

The shares gained 2 percent to S$3.65 at the close in Singapore, before the results were announced.