Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert says the group’s diversified development business has helped it navigate a slowing property market, with its residential sales bolstered by growing demand from the owner-occupier market.
Steinert said the group focused on the more “resilient” parts of the market over the past year: land subdivision and townhouses with owner-occupiers making up more than 75 per cent of buyers.
“We are seeing continued demand for our range of affordable house and land and townhome product, despite some moderation in the market,” Steinert said.
“The quality of our masterplanned communities, which are liveable, affordable and connected, and many close to heavy rail, is driving velocity of sales and increased market share.
Stockland’s national market share in land sales is up 3 per cent to 14.5 per cent the year.
The country’s largest developer of residential property experienced a 14.2 per cent fall in statutory profit – down to $1.02 billion from $1.2 billion a year earlier.
Steinert attributed the fall in lower mark to market gains on financial instruments and smaller revaluation gains.
The company forecast 5-7 per cent growth in funds from operations for the year, representing a 4 per cent growth on FY18.
“Our business has very strong operational leverage to the key demand drivers of population growth, urbanisation, infrastructure improvement, ageing and a growing focus on health and wellbeing,” Steinert said.
Retirement living operating profit dropped nearly 17 per cent to $53 million, and its retail growth was 1.3 per cent over the year.
Stockland confirmed 13 cents in distributions to unitholders, up from 12.6 cents.