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UEM Sunrise Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib (second from right) with (from left) Probuild Construction group managing director Simon Gray, UEM Sunrise chief operating officer Raymond Cheah and Elenberg Fraser founder and director Callum Fraser at the groundbreaking of the Aurora Melbourne Central project in Australia yesterday.

MELBOURNE: UEM Sunrise Bhd is reaping the harvest of its investment in Australia through two projects, here, with a combined gross development value (GDV) of A$1.1 billion (RM3.4 billion).

The developer had its groundbreaking ceremony for Aurora Melbourne Central, its maiden development in Australia, yesterday.

Its second project is the Conservatory.

Both are luxury residential developments located in the heart of the central business district (CBD).

UEM Sunrise managing director and chief executive officer Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib said the company had fully sold Aurora Melbourne Central while sales for Conservatory had reached almost 70 per cent.

Aurora Melbourne Central in LaTrobe Street, which has a GDV of A$770 million, is the CBD’s largest skyscraper with 92 floors and 941 serviced apartments priced from A$395,000 to more than A$1.6 million.

The Conservatory in Mackenzie Street is a 42-level tower with a 300 sq metre retail component and total GDV of A$320 million. It has 446 apartments and penthouses with prices ranging from A$447,000 to more than A$2.2 million.

Both the sites were acquired in late 2013 for a total of A$65 million.

A few months ago, UEM Sunrise acquired a third site, a 21-storey office tower in 412 St Kilda Road, for A$58 million.

“We aim to be a long-term player in Australia and are bullish on the prospects. Our focus currently is on Melbourne, which is a bustling city with lots of shopping malls, universities and restaurants,” said Anwar, here, yesterday.

He said UEM Sunrise had the Malaysian government’s approval to launch property projects overseas.

“We are not an investment firm where we pump in money overseas for investment purposes. We are building properties and the money will eventually be brought back to Malaysia.

“We are looking for other sites in Melbourne and Sydney. If we find something suitable, we will roll over the money.”

Anwar expects overseas projects to contribute between 10 and 20 per cent to the company’s revenue starting next year, led by Australia.

UEM Sunrise’s net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 rose 12.6 per cent to RM83.91 million, compared with the same quarter a year ago, despite a 16.8 per cent drop in revenue to RM372.32 million.

Cumulatively, for the first half, the developer’s earnings improved to RM137.05 million from RM136.05 million in the previous corresponding period, while revenue was RM789.76 million.

Total property development sales for the period was RM600.4 million, with RM267.3 million contributed by Aurora Melbourne Central.

UEM Sunrise also has a project in Richmond, Canada, which is in the final phase of development.

The company was planning to launch a second project in Richmond next year, added Anwar.

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