Paramount sales up despite GST

Amid concerns that the goods and services tax (GST) could cause a slowdown in property sales, this was the reverse for property and education group Paramount Corp Bhd.

The group’s property division posted new property sales of RM157mil in the first quarter of 2015 from RM317mil in 2014. These were from ongoing projects, namely Sejati Residences, Paramount Utropolis, Sekitar26 Business and Bukit Banyan and Bandar Laguna Merbok.

“We are on track of our RM400mil target sales for 2015.

“I think, this has partially to do with GST, as buyers were worried of property price hikes, causing them to buy properties in advance,” group chief executive officer Jeffrey Chew told reporters after Paramount’s AGM here yesterday.

With the group’s total unbilled sales at RM420mil, Chew said he hoped to grow this to RM600mil in the next one to two years by embarking on more projects.

The developer has in its hand six on-going projects, with a tender book of about RM2bil, which includes a bid under the Kwasa Damansara project in Sungai Buloh and another bid it didn’t disclose.

“We phased out our construction segment as a contractor for external jobs but we are using some of the capabilities to focus on joint ventures with external parties,” he added.

As part of its ongoing exercise to beef up revenue, the group is now building its sales unit.

While continuously looking for land bank remained its priority, Chew said it would be looking at projects abroad once it reached a turnover of RM1bil.

“This will perhaps be in the next three to five years, depending on how fast we grow,” he added.

The group posted revenue of RM510mil in 2014. It has 900 acres of land bank with RM9bil GDV.

On the education front, Chew said the market was more resilient.

“The market has been extremely competitive in the last few years and we think that market players could be consolidating as there is intense competition at the tertiary level.

“And since education is recession proof and gives cashflow on the front, we may take advantage of this and get more involved in the tertiary business,” said Chew, adding that it had the capacity to do so with the Paramount Ultrapolis campus here in Glenmarie. - By The Star