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Sluggish demand drags Unitech net down by 28%

Sluggish demand drags Unitech net down by 28%
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First Published: Thu, Jun 25 2009. 12 24 PM IST
Mumbai: Unitech Ltd, India’s No. 2 listed realty firm, reported a 28% fall in full-year profit on lower prices, but said it was seeing a pick up in demand for new residential projects.
The New Delhi-based developer and bigger rival DLF Ltd are focusing on low-cost mass housing projects to prop up volumes and managing director Sanjay Chandra said there was good demand.
The company expects to get bookings for 20 million square feet of new development, he said in a statement.
Chandra had said last week Unitech sold about 4,000 houses in the last 2 months.
Shares in Unitech, which has a market value of more than $3 billion, were up 6% at Rs82.50 by 11:54am, outperforming main stock index that was up 0.3%.
Unitech reported a consolidated net profit of Rs1,198 crore ($247 million) for its financial year ended March, compared with 16.62 billion rupees in the previous year.
Total income fell 22.5% to Rs3,315 crore from Rs4,280 crore in the previous year.
The company did not report March quarter results separately, but a Reuters calculation, based on previous three quarterly results reported, showed net profit for the quarter was Rs279 crore lower than Rs360 crore in the year-ago quarter.
Fourth-quarter profit was, however, higher than Rs136 crorereported for the preceding three months ended December.
Unitech had been hit by sluggish demand and lower prices in the past year amid high interest rates and an economic slowdown.
Its net debt at the end of March stood at Rs9,056 crore ($1.9 billion), while cash reserves were at Rs4,845 crore, the company said.
It raised $550 million in the last two months through share and asset sales, and its debt position was comfortable after rescheduling most of its loan, Chandra said last week.
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First Published: Thu, Jun 25 2009. 12 24 PM IST