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City Developments Reports Record Revenue and Declares a Final Dividend of S$0.08: 5 Highlights from the Property Giant’s Latest Earnings


Following the release of CapitaLand Investment Limited’s (SGX: 9CI) mixed set of 2023 earnings, the next in line to report its full-year results is City Developments Limited (SGX: C09), or CDL.

CDL saw its revenue hit a record high with core net profit soaring on the back of the recovery in its hotel operations.

Although the blue-chip property giant neglected to pay out a special dividend this round, it advanced on its GET strategy with progress made on many fronts.

Here are five highlights from CDL’s latest 2023 earnings.

1. Record revenue and higher core net profit

CDL logged its highest revenue on record for 2023 with S$4.9 billion of sales, primarily driven by the strong performance of its property development division.


Top-line growth came in at 50% year on year.

Profit before tax (PBT), however, fell by 74.5% year on year to S$472.6 million due to the absence of substantial gains booked in 2022 from the sale of Millennium Hilton Seoul, Tanglin Shopping Centre, and Golden Mile Complex.

Net profit plunged by 75.3% year on year to S$317.3 million.

If these one-off gains are excluded, CDL’s net profit would have soared fourfold year on year from S$47 million to S$188.6 million.

The property group also generated a positive free cash flow of S$438.6 million for 2023, a reversal from the negative free cash flow churned out in 2022.

A final ordinary dividend of S$0.08 was declared, similar to the amount paid out in 2022.

However, 2022 saw CDL pay out a special dividend of S$0.08 which was absent this time around.

2. Healthy Singapore property sales with a promising launch pipeline

In Singapore, CDL and its joint venture associates sold 730 units including executive condominiums (ECs) for a total sales value of S$1.5 billion.

This performance was lower than 2022’s 1,487 units sold worth S$2.9 billion because of the group’s limited inventory for 2023.

2023’s results were contributed by the launch of Tembusu Grand and The Myst while three projects, Haus on Handy, Amber Park, and Piccadilly Grand, were fully sold.

CDL’s share of unsold inventory as of 31 December 2023 stood at around 461 units.

Singapore’s launch pipeline for 2024 is healthy with approximately 1,800 units with CDL planning to conduct strategic site acquisitions to build its pipeline.

Lumina Grand, a 512-unit EC, was launched in January 2024 and saw healthy take-up with the project being 55% sold to date.

Upcoming launches in the second half of 2024 (2H 2024) include Union Square Residences, Champions Way, and a site at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh.

3. Ongoing asset enhancements, redevelopments and revamps

Moving on from property development, CDL has also lined up a slate of asset enhancement initiatives (AEIs) for its portfolio of properties.

An AEI for Jungceylon Shopping Centre in Phuket was completed late last year and achieved a committed occupancy of 90%.

In the third quarter of 2023, CDL commenced a two-stage AEI for City Square Mall to add around 26,000 square feet of net lettable area (NLA).

This AEI should be completed by 1H 2025.

The group intends to redevelop Union Square to achieve a 67% uplift for its gross floor area (GFA) with the targeted launch of Union Square Residences in 2H 2024.

It also plans to redevelop Newport Plaza into a 45-storey freehold mixed-use development with retail, office, residential, and serviced apartments to achieve a 25% GFA uplift.

Over at the hotel side, three hotels were opened last year – two M Social hotels in Suzhou and Phuket, and a 204-room bespoke lifestyle hotel called The Singapore Edition.

Grand Copthorne Waterfront also saw a revamp with sustainability features added along with more than 6,200 square metres of new conference spaces.

4. Stronger results for hotel operations

Speaking of hotel operations, CDL’s hotel division saw an improved performance as demand surged for air travel and holidays.

Revenue for the division increased by 9% year on year to S$1.5 billion for 2023 while PBT (excluding divestments and impairments) surged by 71% year on year to S$55 million.

Operating statistics were encouraging.

Room occupancy rose 8.7 percentage points to 73.1% for 2023 with the average room rate increasing by 10.4% year on year to S$230.7.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a common metric used by the hotel industry, shot up 25.3% year on year to S$168.7.

5. Boosting recurring income streams

CDL is also concurrently building and growing its recurring income streams in both the purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) and private rented sector (PRS) divisions.

Together, these two segments combine to form is global living sector portfolio which boasts a gross development value (GDV) of S$2.6 billion.

The PBSA side comprises around 2,400 beds while PRS has close to 4,800 units.

Committed portfolio occupancy was higher than 90% for the portfolio at the end of 2023.

Some highlights for the PRS segment include the acquisition of 1NQ in the UK comprising 261 units that should be completed by 2026.

Also in the UK, CDL acquired Morden Wharf with a joint venture partner which will contribute around 1,500 residential units along with commercial and retail space.

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Disclosure: Royston Yang does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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