Noble optimistic as infections dwindle

Noble optimistic as infections dwindle

A digital rendition of Noble Above Wireless-Ruamrudee, a project the developer plans to launch this year.
A digital rendition of Noble Above Wireless-Ruamrudee, a project the developer plans to launch this year.

SET-listed Noble Development is maintaining its revenue target and new project launches based on confidence in the government's handling of the pandemic.

Co-chief executive Thongchai Busrapan said the outbreak is improving on a daily basis as containment measures have proven effective, with very low infections.

"Many countries view Thailand very positively," he said.

"We are confident the country can tackle second or third waves if they come about."

In the first quarter, the company planned to launch two new projects, yet did only one in February as the launch scheduled for March was put off due to uncertainty.

"China has recovered and is back to normal while vaccines are beginning the human testing phase. Overall normalcy is likely to resume by the end of the year," said Mr Thongchai.

Despite postponing one project, the company expects to launch six new projects within the second half, totalling seven launches in 2020 as planned.

In the first quarter, Noble posted 2.16 billion baht in revenue with a net profit of 411 million, down 41.3% and 68.6% respectively from the same period last year when it recorded earning of 1.6 billion baht from land sales.

Excluding the land sale, the company's revenue from property development in the first quarter this year rose 5.2% year-on-year, buttressing confidence it will bring in 11-12 billion in revenue as targeted for this year.

As of the end of the first quarter, Noble had a sales backlog of 15.4 billion baht. Of this amount, 8 billion baht should be realised in the second to fourth quarters of 2020, he said.

The company has inventory of 4 billion baht, most of which are condo units.

"We are confident we can boost the sales of these unsold, completed condo units with a discount campaign," said Mr Thongchai. "Market sentiment is poor, but there is demand from people waiting for good prices."

Last week Noble recorded 300 million baht in sales from a new campaign called "Reset Price, Resume Life" it tested by phoning back to customers who visited project sites but had not made a purchase. It offered them sales prices quoted during the presale launch period.

These offers were a discount of 10-15%.

Some projects like Noble Ploenchit will offer sales prices of 170,000 baht per square metre, down from the current 250,000 baht, he said.

The company plans a new campaign for ready-to-transfer units at six completed condo projects on May 25.

"Discount campaigns may hurt previous customers, but I believe they will understand under the circumstances developers need to boost sales," said Mr Thongchai.

He said the discount will also affect the company's gross profits, which will drop to 35% from 45% as most of its inventory was launched several years ago.

Mr Thongchai said the company expects to have 2 billion baht in sales from the inventory by year-end.

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