Operations Review
The year under review continued to present a challenging environment both locally and globally, albeit with some signs of moderate improvement. While economic indicators improved for regions such as Europe and the US, problems such as weak employment rates persisted. For the whole of 2013, the Singapore economy grew by 4.1%, up from the 1.9% growth registered in 2012. Despite this, the cumulative impact of the Singapore Government’s incremental property cooling measures over the year continued to take effect, with demand, especially for high-end developments, remaining subdued.

STRONG SHOWING FOR PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT SEGMENT
Despite uncertainties in the economic climate, CDL continued to achieve a strong performance in the property development segment in 2013. Along with its joint venture associates, the Group saw seven successful launches and sold 3,210 units, including Executive Condominiums (EC), amounting to a total sales value of about $3.32 billion. The strong sales affirm CDL’s successful strategy of building up a well-diversified residential portfolio that allows it to launch projects that cater to the demand from different market segments, in response to market conditions.

The 508-unit joint venture residences, Echelon, located near Redhill MRT station was officially launched in January. Positioned at the edge of the sought-after Tanglin residential enclave, this premium luxury project is almost sold out, with only three penthouse units left.

In March, another two joint venture developments were launched: D’Nest, a 912-unit condominium at Pasir Ris Grove, and Bartley Ridge, an 868-unit condominium along Bartley Road/Mount Vernon. Both projects are strategically located within walking distance of Pasir Ris and Bartley MRT stations respectively. D’Nest and Bartley Ridge are now 93% and 90% sold respectively.

Jewel @ Buangkok, a 616-unit condominium located beside Buangkok MRT station, followed in June. Over 86% of the 450 units released have been sold.

The nature-inspired 380-unit Lush Acres EC in Sengkang, near Layar LRT station, met with enthusiastic response during its launch in August and is now sold out.

D’Nest is a 912-unit condominium located at Pasir Ris Grove.

The 616-unit Jewel @ Buangkok condominium, launched in June 2013, is located beside Buangkok MRT station.

In October, The Venue Residences and Shoppes, a joint venture mixed development was launched. Conveniently located near Potong Pasir MRT station at the junction of Upper Serangoon and MacPherson Roads, The Venue offers a unique seamless living, shopping and dining experience through its 266 apartments and 28 retail and dining units. To date, 66% of its 70 residential units released for sale and 50% of its retail and dining units have been taken up.

Rounding off the year was the launch of The Inflora, a 396-unit joint venture condominium at Flora Drive located in the Changi/Pasir Ris locale in October. It is located a short drive from the Singapore EXPO and Tampines Central, and will be within walking distance of the upcoming Tampines East MRT station. The competitivelypriced joint venture project is fully sold.

STRATEGIC ACQUISITIONS AND INVESTMENTS
A key focus of the Group’s growth strategy is to sharpen core businesses with eyes set on building new opportunities and platforms overseas. In line with this, several strategic acquisitions were made in the year under review.

CDL announced in September that its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Beaumont Properties Limited would acquire a freehold property located in close proximity to Harrods at Pavilion Road in Knightsbridge London in the UK, for £80.0 million. This was the first acquisition for the CDL Group’s real estate platform in the UK.

In April, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C), the Group’s London-listed subsidiary, completed the acquisition of a plot of land in Seoul, Korea, with a total area of 1,563.7 square metres, for £17.2 million. The site is adjacent to the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel. M&C plans to develop hospitality facilities on the site that will be complementary to the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel.

In December, M&C announced the proposed acquisition of a leasehold interest in a luxury, all-suite hotel located in the upscale Chelsea Harbour district of London, offering 154 suites and four penthouses. The acquisition is priced at £65.0 million, subject to standard purchase price adjustments.

CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT), an associate of M&C, also made two key acquisitions in the Maldives during the year. In January, it acquired the Angsana Velavaru, with 79 beach villas and 34 exclusive water villas. Its second property, the luxurious Jumeirah Dhevanafushi with 19 beachfront villas and 16 over-water villas, with two additional beachfront villas expected to be completed in 2014, was acquired in December.

The luxurious Jumeirah Dhevanafushi was acquired in December 2013.


HALLMARKS OF HOSPITALITY EXCELLENCE
2013 was another eventful year for M&C.

It inaugurated the M Hotel Chengdu in July, the second M Hotel in the world and M&C’s 12th property in the Greater China region. The 196-room hotel is just a 5-minute stroll from the high-end housing and retail enclave of Xin Nan Tian Di.

In addition to launches and several new hotel acquisitions, M&C continued with its ongoing £240.0 million refurbishment programme of its properties, in order to strengthen its service and product proposition. In May, the Millennium Minneapolis in the US reopened after the successful completion of its £15.0 million refurbishment. Refurbishment of the west wing of the Grand Hyatt Taipei was completed in the third quarter of 2013, with work currently underway on renovation of the east wing which was closed when the west wing re-opened. The hotel is scheduled to reopen fully in Q3 2014.

In May, CDLHT announced asset enhancement plans for Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade, with the aim of overhauling the property’s facade and existing amenities and re-positioning it as a family-centric mall with enhanced retail offerings. The project is estimated to cost $25.0 million and a soft opening of the refurbished mall is expected by end 2014.

RAISING THE BAR IN BUSINESS EXCELLENCE
As a forerunner in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Singapore, CDL takes a triple bottom line approach when measuring business excellence, where environmental and social achievements go hand in hand with financial performance. CDL continued to set new benchmarks in business excellence both locally and globally.

In 2013, CDL was honoured as the first developer to receive two distinguished accolades from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA): Quality Excellence Award – Quality Champion (Platinum) and Construction Productivity Award – Advocates (Platinum). It also received the International Dilmun Environmental Award from the UK-based safety charity, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) – the first company outside of Europe to win this accolade – in addition to the RoSPA Gold Medal Award for Occupational Health and Safety.

Other key honours include the BCI Asia Top 10 Developers Award for the third consecutive year, Best Developer (Singapore) at the South East Asia Property Awards 2013, as well as the Internal Audit Excellence Merit Award and Most Transparent Company Award – Runner-Up (Real Estate Category) at the Securities Investors’ Association (Singapore) Investors’ Choice Awards 2013. CDL also retained its title of the Best Residential Developer and Best Leisure/Hotel Developer (Singapore) in the Euromoney Real Estate Survey 2013.

CDL celebrated its haul of 23 accolades – the most number of awards received by a private developer at BCA Awards 2013.

In recognition of CDL’s efforts towards sustainability, CDL was awarded the inaugural Eco-Green Outstanding Leadership Award at the Asia Responsible Corporate Awards 2013 and was named the company with the Best Sustainability Practice at the IR Magazine Awards – South East Asia 2013.

Globally, CDL continued to remain listed on the FTSE4Good Index Series (since 2002) and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (since 2011). The first Singapore corporation to be listed on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World ranking in 2010, CDL emerged as the top ranked corporation in Asia (excluding Japan) in the 2013 edition. It was also named a Regional Sector Leader for Asia in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Report 2013, ranked 22nd out of 543 participating organisations globally. Together, these independent global ratings demonstrate CDL’s long-standing commitment towards responsible corporate citizenry, by upholding good corporate governance as well as high environmental and social performance standards.

FORGING NEW PLATFORMS FOR GROWTH
As global and domestic economic headwinds persist, the Group will continue to leverage its core competencies and focus on accelerating its diversification efforts overseas. It will pursue opportunities through its established platforms in London and China, and actively seek opportunities in mature markets such as the US, Japan and Australia. With its solid foundation, strong balance sheet and track record of resilience, the Group has its eyes set on growth and will continue to deliver greater value for shareholders through innovative initiatives and synergistic business platforms.

 

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