Operations Review
2010 was a year of recovery for the global economy, although economic uncertainties still resonated across Europe and the United States. Singapore enjoyed extraordinary growth, with the economy estimated to have expanded by 14.7% in 2010. With an impressive economic performance led by strong fundamentals in the form of wage growth, high employment, increased liquidity and low interest rates, residential property became a choice investment amongst investors. Even though market sentiments were dampened as a result of a slew of property cooling measures introduced by the Government, the residential sales market performed credibly with a total of 15,832 units sold in 2010.

ROBUST PERFORMANCE LED BY STRONG ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Leveraging on its innate understanding of market sentiments and buyer appetite, CDL’s performance in the property development segment remained strong, with sales volume of 1,559 private homes in 2010. This was the result of several highly successful launches which met with overwhelming market response.

CDL started the year with the launch of Cube 8, an exclusive 177-unit freehold residential development in the premium District 11. The epitome of luxuriant contemporary high-rise living and an architectural dream combining both form and functionality, Cube 8 is designed to maximise the exceptional views of the city and MacRitchie Reservoir Park, and boasts unique amenities. The launch was met with great enthusiasm, with about 85% of the units snapped up during the launch weekend. To date, the project is almost fully sold with only one penthouse remaining.

Bringing a new world-class waterfront lifestyle to Singapore and raising the benchmark for contemporary living, CDL and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. launched The Residences at W Singapore Sentosa Cove in March. Comprising a collection of 228 private luxury residences at the exclusive waterfront residential enclave of Sentosa Cove – Singapore’s most prestigious and affluent marina residential community, this ultra-luxe development is conceptualised by renowned architectural firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG), and targeted at discerning homebuyers seeking to be wowed by the finer things in life. 45% of the launched units were sold over the weekend at private previews for a select group of business associates and VIP customers.

In April, CDL launched Tree House, a 429-unit joint venture 99-year leasehold development nestled within the Upper Bukit Timah and Chestnut Avenue private enclave. This strategic land site was successfully tendered by the Group in 2009 as it saw great potential for a well-positioned, nature-inspired development in this tranquil estate. With its attractive pricing, unique location and thoughtfully designed features, Tree House met with overwhelming response, with over 85% of the 350 units sold during the private preview, and is now fully sold out.

NV Residences exudes a strong sense of style with its chic and contemporary design.

Two months later, 368 Thomson, an iconic 36-storey signature freehold development located in the prime District 11 area, in close proximity to two of the Group’s successful projects in the vicinity – The Arte and Cube 8, was launched. Built at the site of the former Concorde Residences, Balestier Court and Bright Building at Thomson Road, 80% of the 120 units launched in Phase 1 were snapped up. To date, only one 3-bedroom apartment remains.

The buoyant Singapore economy bolstered the local property scene and the healthy demand for private residential property was evident in CDL’s launches. The 642-unit NV Residences, jointly developed by CDL, Hong Leong Holdings Limited and Hong Realty (Private) Limited, was extremely well-received during its highly anticipated private preview in September. 80% of the 200 units released at the preview were snapped up, indicating a healthy demand for a well-positioned and attractively-priced residence in the East. To date, over 500 units have been sold.

The last quarter of 2010 saw the launch of The Glyndebourne, a distinguished 150-unit freehold luxury condominium located in the prestigious District 11 neighbourhood. Redeveloped from the current site of the Copthorne Orchid Hotel, the private preview of The Glyndebourne saw 75% of the units sold that weekend.

SUSTAINING BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AND LEADERSHIP

CDL’s continual pursuit of improvement in its corporate, environmental and social performance has led to awards and accolades both locally and globally.

At the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Awards 2010, CDL reinforced its green leadership of Singapore’s built environment by winning the most number of Green Mark Platinum Awards for its sustainable developments. Since the introduction of the Green Mark scheme by BCA in 2005, 40 CDL developments have been awarded the BCA Green Mark Awards, of which 10 are of the highest-tier Platinum rating. This represents the highest number of BCA Green Mark Awards presented to a single developer to date.

Internationally, The Sail @ Marina Bay, a majestic 245-metre tall architectural gem designed by world-renowned Norwegian/American architect Peter Pran, bagged the coveted FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Award 2010 in the Residential (High-Rise) Category. Conferred by a panel comprising the world’s top real estate professionals and experts, the prestigious FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards recognise projects of outstanding achievement and overall merit that best embody excellence in all the real estate disciplines involved in its creation.

7 & 9 Tampines Grande – the first completed development in Singapore to achieve the LEED Gold certification under the Core & Shell Category

7 & 9 Tampines Grande – CDL’s award-winning new generation green office – also set a new benchmark when it became the first completed development in Singapore to achieve the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Rating System) Gold certification under the Core & Shell category from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This rigorous rating system was designed to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings. This accolade represents an affirmation that CDL’s sustainable design and development methodology is in line with international best practices.

CDL was a double winner at the 2010 ASEAN Energy Awards, clinching two out of five awards accorded to Singapore companies – for 7 & 9 Tampines Grande and Fuji Xerox Towers. Both commercial buildings were winners of the ASEAN Best Practices for Energy Efficient Buildings Competition 2010 under the New and Existing Category and Retrofitted Category respectively. Established in 2000, the ASEAN Energy Awards recognise efforts by forward-looking ASEAN building owners and property developers to implement energy-efficient solutions and best practices in their buildings as well as spur energy efficiency within the ASEAN region.

Testament to CDL’s strong track record of financial stewardship and profitability, CDL was accorded the 2010 Global Chinese Business 1000 – Best Performance Award and was ranked one of the Top 10 Best Performance companies in Singapore. Commissioned by Yazhou Zhoukan, the Global Chinese Business 1000 is the most insightful and powerful report in which the Top 1000 listed companies owned by Chinese entrepreneurs from all over the world are selected. The prestigious award endorses the outstanding achievement in terms of average sales, average net profit growth and innovative measures in the past 3 years.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTMENT AND GROWTH

In line with its selective land replenishment policy, CDL submitted a successful bid of $200.5 million for a 182,975 square feet condominium site at Sengkang West Avenue / Fernvale Link. The 99-year leasehold site was keenly contested with a total of 10 bids. H2O Residences, a nature-inspired 521-unit condominium offering unobstructed views of lush surroundings and charming waterways, was launched in March 2011.

CDL, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Grand Isle Holdings Pte. Ltd., emerged as top bidder for a 20,834.1 square metres, 99-year leasehold Executive Condominium (EC) site at Segar Road in the Bukit Panjang area. The site will be CDL’s fourth EC project after The Florida, Nuovo and The Esparis.

On the global front, CDL will be capitalising on the investment opportunities that are forthcoming with the regulatory tightening of China’s property market through the establishment of CDL China Limited in August 2010 with an initial seed capital of $300 million. The wholly-owned subsidiary will focus on establishing CDL as a long-term property developer in China and implementing the Group’s real estate strategy.

CDL China Limited made its maiden site acquisition in Chongqing, China, at a government land auction for RMB232 million. The landmark residential site comprises two adjacent plots of land totalling 27,200 square metres, where an iconic luxury villa residence will be built.

EXPANSION IN HOSPITALITY PRESENCE

The latest addition to the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C) family – Studio M Hotel – officially opened its doors on 17 June 2010. Operational since March 2010, the 360-room hotel, located along Mohamed Sultan Road in Singapore, is designed for the stylish and trendy, and boasted occupancies of approximately 80%, reaching full capacity in the days prior to its official opening.

M&C also announced plans to further expand its presence in China, with the aim of an annual growth of 3 to 4 hotels in China, while maintaining prudence when looking for partners.

Exemplifying M&C’s commitment to hospitality excellence, Grand Millennium Beijing joined the ranks of international hotels with its official 5-star rating following a stringent audit process. The hotel is now one of just 54 accredited 5-star hotels in the Chinese capital.

Signalling a new era in hotel accommodation in Abu Dhabi, M&C opened The Grand Millennium Al Wahda, its second hotel in the Middle East under the flagship brand. With 844 rooms, Grand Millennium Ah Wahda is the largest hotel in Abu Dhabi.