The economic recession has greatly affected the real estate market to a great extent. According to Mr. J.C. Sharma, Managing Director, Sobha Developers, the economic downturn has had a major impact on the company in terms of reduction in sales and profits. The company has recorded a 32 per cent dip in revenues for the financial year 2008- 09 at Rs.967.9 crores compared to Rs.1,422.6 crores for the previous year. Similarly, its net profit decreased by 52 per cent for the year at Rs.109.7 crores when compared to the figure of Rs.228.3 crores for the previous year. Its contractual business, which has been contributing significantly to its revenue, stood at Rs.397 crores as against Rs.583 crores for the previous year.
Shri Sharma also stated that the company has realigned its sales and marketing focus to meet the emerging opportunities, both at the strategic as well as tactical levels and has initiated several proactive measures to invigorate sales through adopting innovative practices in marketing, varying product mix, designing customized offerings fo bangalore5 r institutional sales, enhancing both the width and depth of customer reach. The company has plans to raise funds through qualified institutional placement depending on the valuation of sums between Rs.325 crores and Rs1OO crores. Besides, it also plans to raise funds about Rs.20 crores through investment via a special purpose vehicle and about Rs.200 crores through the sale of land.
Shri Sharma stated that the company is confident that these efforts will lead to a significant improvement in cash flows and the debt-equity ratio will come down before the end of this financial year and in order to make cash flows comfortable for the next year, the company is also pruning unnecessary costs and manpower. The company has implemented a 10 per cent cut in salaries and would downsize staff if the situation warrants.
Shri Sharma further stated that the company has been able to successfully negotiatewith most of its lenders for rescheduling the debt repayments; the company has plans to raise long-term capital during the fiscal so as to augment the capital base and reduce the debt levels. The company is also discussing with various investors for the development of specific projects and is in the process of disposing of certain land in which projects cannot be launched in the near future.
Under this scheme the bank would be charging interest on home loans at 9 per cent for loans up to 5 years, 10 per cent for 5-10 years and 10.50 percent for home loans above 10 years. The interest rates are fixed for the first 3 years with an annual reset clause thereafter. The minimum loan amount is Rs.15 lakhs and the Maximum is Rs.200 Rs.200lakhs. The maximum tenure period will be 20 years. Persons in the age
group of 21-55 years with a minimum monthly gross salary of Rs1O,OOO/- are eligible for this loan. The new product facilitates the persons fulfilling the above requirements to purchase, construction of houses and flats including take-over from other banks and organizations. The product has been launched at 30 select branches across the country.