At the Group’s annual general meeting this morning, Chairman David Crawford, AO said Lend Lease has an enviable global pipeline of opportunities that will allow the Group to deliver growth over the medium term.
“As a development led business, success comes from securing high quality projects at attractive prices at the right time in the cycle, and then executing well,” said Mr Crawford.
“We have won a number of major projects this year to add to our already significant pipeline. Deal momentum has continued post the end of the financial year, including finalising an implementation agreement with Japan’s Sekisui House, success in our military housing business in the Americas securing the second phase of the army lodgings program and reaching financial close on a project in Alaska under the Military Housing Privatization Initiative.
“Our integrated capabilities continue to give us a distinct competitive advantage. Combined with a regional focus and strategy tailored around key property trends we are clearly differentiated from our peers.
“Successful delivery also requires a strong balance sheet which was enhanced through our equity raising that took place in February. This financial strength and access to third party capital through our investment management business gives us great flexibility to extract maximum value from our developments,” explained Mr Crawford.
Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, told securityholders that the Group’s focus is now on successful delivery of its development projects.
“2010 was an important year for the Group in terms of adding to our development pipeline. We worked hard to position Lend Lease for growth,” said Mr McCann.
“In Australia, Lend Lease had an exceptional year having secured a number of outstanding development projects. The Australian economy continues to perform well and will offer further opportunities. We also have some attractive retail developments in Asia where our market position is strengthening.
“In the UK, Lend Lease has secured leading urban regeneration positions in London and is in a strong position to invest capital as the market strengthens. In the US, certain construction sectors are showing signs of recovery and opportunities for the Group to invest capital will emerge over time. The US business continues to have a strong base of stable earnings in the military housing business.
“The outlook for Lend Lease is very positive. We have won the work, now we need to execute well on the delivery of our pipeline and that is our top priority,” said Mr McCann.
Return on equity remains a key focus for Lend Lease, with Mr Crawford confirming to securityholders that the Group expects to reach its target of 15% as it delivers the pipeline of opportunities over the medium term.
“We will continue to focus on operational excellence and aligning our cost base. We have a significant pipeline and clear plans for where we will spend our capital.
Lend Lease does not provide specific short term earnings guidance, however we continue to be positive about the Group’s operating outlook and remain focused on optimising total security holder return,” added Mr Crawford.