Developers make most of top conditions

Prime development conditions have delivered two large unlisted property players record profits, with one using the money on a $48 million private plane.
By · 11 Dec 2013
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11 Dec 2013
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Prime development conditions have delivered two large unlisted property players record profits, with one using the money on a $48 million private plane.

Financial statements lodged with business regulator ASIC show apartment builder Central Equity tripled its profits over the year to June 2013, to $65.8 million.

Another company controlled by industry veteran Lang Walker, whose substantial Collins Square project in Melbourne's Docklands last week announced it had snared business services giant KPMG as a key tenant, doubled its profit to $43.8 million over the same period.

Company records show Central Equity paid $30 million in fully franked dividends to its shareholders following the 2012-13 financial year. Central Equity, which delisted from the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005, is controlled by directors Eddie Kutner and Dennis Wilson, both of whom have large stakes in the company.

The group generally shuns publicity but has substantial projects in Southbank where it completes an estimated 1500 apartments a year.

In November it bought a $20 million site in Lonsdale Street to boost its development portfolio, which company records show had been whittled down to just $5.8 million of inventory at the end of June.

Records for Walker Group Holdings, the controlling company for Mr Walker's property and investment interests in Australia, Canada, Malaysia and the US, show it paid only $300,000 in dividends. But it nevertheless reported a healthy revenue of $298 million for the year to June, substantially higher than the previous year's $182 million.

Mr Walker's personal fortune has risen since selling Walker Corporation assets to Mirvac in 2006 and taking on the billion-dollar mixed-use Collins Square development.

The company lists a $48 million loan for a plane on its books.

Walker Group also has $269 million in freehold property assets held for sale, some of which were secured against its $156 million debt.

It lists Woolloomooloo Wharf, Balmain Cove, Pran Central and Hope Island Resort among its completed projects.

And it has also developed retail precincts such as Rhodes, Broadway and Point Cook shopping centres.

Central Equity, one of Melbourne's largest developers, entered into related party transactions with Chaddesley Holdings for a Kavanagh Street development and provided loans to another two entities for a West Melbourne development, records show.

For the year to June the company reported revenue of $325 million compared to $104 million the previous financial year. It noted total liabilities, mainly commercial and bank loans, of $79.5 million.
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