Overseas Realty finally reaping

"harvest of our sacrifices’’ says Tao

Special dividend of one rupee a share on top or ordinary dividend


The World Trade Centre in Colombo has maintained an average occupancy of 98% throughout 2013 and achieved a 19% increase in average rental rates, its owning company, Overseas Realty (Ceylon) PLC has said in its annual report for the year ended December 31, 2013.

The report also said that the pre-tax profit, excluding fair value gains of Rs.1.7 billion, was the highest in the group’s history. Also, borrowings were down by Rs.279 million and the debt equity ratio was reduced to 8% from 11% the previous year.

The company’s Chairman, Mr. S.P. Tao, has told shareholders that he believed that Overseas Realty is "finally able to begin to reap the harvest of our considerable sacrifices.’’

He declared that the World Centre building was ``standing tall and proud with almost full occupancy by sterling tenants and most importantly, was free from any debt.’’

Tao also announced that the company’s Board of Directors have proposed a special dividend (Re.1/= per share) "to reward shareholders for their patience and confidence during the past several years."

In addition to the special dividend, a final dividend of Rs.0.45 per share has also been recommended by the directors and adopted by shareholders at an AGM last Thursday.

Tao also reported that they expected completion of the Phase 2 residential development at Havelock City by the middle of this year. This comprises two towers with 219 luxury apartments.

Marketing of Phase 3 of the Havelock City residential development has been launched along with the opening of the Club House in the complex last November.

"The future of the Sri Lankan economy is positive with the prevailing harmony and peace in the country. The property sector is a direct beneficiary of long term economic growth, stability and increased business confidence," Tao said.

"The standard of living in Sri Lanka is expected to improve with economic progression. Hence, as property developers and property managers the future of your company is positive."

Overseas Realty has a stated capital of Rs.10.19 billion, a revaluation reserve of Rs.238.9 million and group retained earnings of Rs.13.75 billion in its books. The company’s retained earnings are Rs.13.23 billion.

Total assets of the group run at Rs.30.9 million and the company at Rs.25 billion while total liabilities of the group are Rs.5.57 billion and of the company Rs.1.36 billion.

The Shing Kwan Investment Company with 53.75%, Unity Builders with 26.1% and the EPF with 5.03% are the major shareholders of the company.

Shing Kwan Investments (Singapore) Limited (2.56%) and Chipperfield Investments (0.91%) are subsidiaries of the parent company.

Among the public sector shareholders of overseas Realty are the People’s Bank, NSB, Bank of Ceylon and the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation which are among the 20 top shareholders although their stakes in percentage terms is small. The public holds 16.64% of the issued shares.

Earnings per share during the year under review stood at

Rs.2.89 while net assets per share were up to Rs.28.66 from Rs.26.05 the previous year. The overseas Realty share traded at a high of Rs.21.30 and a low of Rs.13.90 against a trading range of Rs.15.60 to Rs.9.50 a year earlier.

The directors of the company are: Messrs. S.P. Tao (Chairman), H.Z. Cassim (Deputy Chairman), T.K. Bandaranayake, A.M. De S. Jayaratne, L.R. de Lanerolle, Rohini Nanayakkara, Mildred Tao Ong, Melville Pin, En Ping Ong and R. Jayamaha.

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