Australand property shares tumble on profit decline

July 31, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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Garfield Reynolds
Bloomberg

Australand Property Group, the Australian unit of Singapore’s CapitaLand Ltd., dropped by a record 32 percent after net income fell 79 percent and the company sold new shares to pay down debt.

Net income fell to A$25.6 million ($24.2 million) in the six months ended June 30, from A$119.6 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement on July 28. The stock hadn’t traded since July 25 because of a rights offer.

Australand, in which Southeast Asia’s biggest developer Capitaland owns about 54 percent, made about half of its revenue last year from home sales, which sagged this year as the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates to a 12-year high. Home- loan approvals fell 7.9 percent in May, the biggest drop in eight years, and an index measuring construction work contracted for the first time in four years, according to reports this month.

“Trading conditions remained challenging with consumer confidence being negatively affected by official interest rate rises, escalating oil prices and general inflationary pressure,” the company said in the statement.

Australand, which had A$775 million of loans maturing before June 2009 at the end of the second quarter, raised about A$364 million from existing institutional shareholders by selling them stock at 60 Australian cents apiece, the company said today in a statement to the Australian exchange.

Australand plans to raise A$121.8 million from retail investors, according to today’s statement.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=aCcWfcyTNp1g&refer=australia