Two million sq ft mall space in 3 yrs: Unitech

12 Sep 2011

Unitech plans to develop about 2 million sq ft of shopping malls across the country in the next three years. The realtor is focussing on developing retail outlets across Noida, Mohali, Kolkata, Kochi, Bangalore, Lucknow and Dehradun, among others. The company’s strategy in the retail segment is that it might either fully or partially sell these properties after fully developing them. This strategy is in sync with the firm’s overall policy of exiting a non-core business after developing it, including in the hospitality sector.

Gardens Galleria and Great India Place are among the retail malls from the Unitech stable. The company has launched eight million sq ft residential projects since January2011, and is expected to complete 10 million sq ft by the end of this month. Going forward, it plans to offer a mix of products — affordable, mid-segment, and high-end. Also, it would go to towns where it does not have a presence.

As for delivery of residential projects, most of those launched before 2009 would be completed by the end of this year. The remaining will be delivered next year. The projects launched after 2009 will begin delivery around April-May of2012. The company’s project delivery is on track. The company has categorized its residential projects as pre- and post-2009, mainly as an indicator of before or after the economic downturn in India. Unitech remains focused on Noida, Gurgaon and Kolkata for its business dealing in office space.

The company is looking to reduce its debt, currently at Rs 5,300 crore, by Rs 500crore by the end of this financial year. In the first quarter of the financial year, it cut the debt by around Rs 200 crore. Unitech’s debt to equity ratio is currently at 0.4. While the company’s debt has come down considerably from a peak of Rs 10,500 crore in December 2008 to Rs 5,300 crore now, it is trying to cut it further. Towards that goal, the developer is aiming to raise Rs 500crore to Rs 700 crore per annum from the sale of non-residential properties, which are often referred to as non-core assets.

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