Shopping centre manager and developer Lend Lease delivered an increase in profits of 5.2 percent to $323.6 million for the year ending 30 June as the company fills out its development pipeline.
Lend Lease’s Group’s Statutory Profit after Tax came in at $345.6 million after net property investment revaluation increases of $22.0 million after tax despite difficult market conditions and the increase in the Australian dollar impacting the value of overseas earnings when converted into Australian dollars, Lend Lease believes their Operating Profit after Tax would have been $30 million higher were it not for the appreciation of the Australian dollar.
Lend Lease firmed up its future prospects by adding to its pipeline of opportunities going forward. A key strategic win for Lend Less was the conditional framework agreement signed to construct the $2.3 billion second stage of the Stratford City Westfield Development in London, in addition to a $400 million masterplanned residential development site in Richmond, Victoria.
Lend Lease also progressed other major developments through its pre-construction pipeline, including signing project development agreements for the $6.0 billion first stage of Barangaroo on the Sydney foreshore, the $400 million first stage of the Alkimos masterplanned community in Western Australia and a conditional project development agreement for the $2.5 billion RNA Showgrounds development in Brisbane.
Group Chief Financial Officer, Brad Soller, said: “Lend Lease is in excellent financial shape, with significant capacity to fund growth opportunities. During the year the Group has put in place a total of A$1.2 billion of new and refinanced debt facilities and raised A$0.8 billion of equity. Our investment grade credit rating has been confirmed with a stable outlook and we have access to third party capital through the Group’s managed funds platform.”
Lend Lease, Group CEO and Managing Director, Steve McCann was cautious about the overseas recovery, as well as the winding back of Federal Government stimulus, particularly on his residential communities development.
“Construction markets offshore remain difficult and construction volumes in Australia are likely to decline as government stimulus spending softens. However, it is very clear that the Group is well placed for growth and we expect our strong project pipeline to deliver over the medium term,” Mr McCann said.
“Looking ahead Lend Lease is well positioned to capitalise on the major property trends of urban regeneration, retirement, sustainability, public private partnerships and growth in superannuation and sovereign wealth funds.” he said.