ASX-listed diversified property company Stockland has announced it will commence construction of its first childcare centre within a residential masterplanned community as it reaffirms its predicted growth in profit of 5 to 6.5 per cent.
Stockland will commence with a $3.7 million centre at its Aura community on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. It will be operated by Goodstart Early Learning and is one of seven centres in Stockland’s pipeline.
“We are excited to start construction on Stockland’s first standalone childcare centre, outside of the retail portfolio,” Stockland general manager for medium density and retirement living Ben Cantwell said.
“This development is in line with our strategy to deliver the best communities in the country – providing excellent outcomes for residents and providing key infrastructure close to home.
“Approximately 1.3 million children are expected to attend some form of child care service over 2017-18.
Related reading: Stockland to Develop $540m Residential Project in Melbourne
“With Australia’s birth and population rate consistently on the rise and revenues set to increase by 34.2 per cent to $12.1 billion by 2019-20, we see growth in the sector as a true opportunity.”
Over the next 30 years Stockland will be creating more than 20,000 new homes across the 24-square kilometre Aura site at Bells Creek near Caloundra.
The company in its third quarter market update said it was on track to settle around 6500 residential lots for the full year and was still targeting a distribution per security of 26.5 cents, representing 4 per cent growth on last year.
“Residential trading conditions remain generally positive, particularly in Melbourne and Queensland,” Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert said.
“In line with expectations, Sydney has seen a slight moderation in demand from its peak.
“Across the country we have strong visibility of earnings over the medium term, with 6,367 contracts on hand as at 31 March this year.”
Related reading: Stockland Strengthens Perth Pipeline with 100 Townhouses
Last week, Stockland announced it has sold its Highlands neighbourhood shopping centre on Melbourne’s northern outskirts to a local investor for about $43 million. The sale is part of a larger divestment of retail town centres worth around $300 million it plans for 2018.
The company has recently diversified its funding sources by issuing €300 million in medium term notes in an European funding deal which will reduce overall weighted average cost of debt and elongate the maturity of its weighted average debt.