“The justification behind this dividend is two-fold: the first is to make up for low dividend payouts in the last several years whereby average payouts have lagged substantially behind our peers – the company’s average payout ratio for the last seven years is only 16% whereas the industry average is 48%; and the second rationale is a rapid accumulation of cash on the balance sheet after successful build up of sales backlog at the end of Q3/2018 of over B16,800 billion that will be reflected in our books starting from Q4/2018.” said Frank Leung, NOBLE Vice Chairman and Co-CEO.
“The Board of Directors and the company’s executives are committed to proactively managing its equity base and maximise our Return on Equity to create shareholder value,” he added.
“The payment of this dividend is entirely created by the company’s strong operating cash flow rather than new debt issuance.
“After this payout, Net Interest Bearing Debt to Equity Ratio of Noble is comfortably within our bond and debt covenants at below 2.5, and we expect to further strengthen our balance sheet by lowering our long-term debt to around 2.1 by end of 2019,” Mr Leung explained.
The company will continue to invest over B2.5 billion in new land acquisition in Bangkok residential markets this year, noted the company statement issued on Tuesday (Feb 26).
“We also have one of the most attractive completed inventory portfolios and project pipelines in the market, and have had outstanding sales momentum in Q1/2019, particularly in the overseas market. There is no doubt that the company has the resources to continue to make investments for sustainable growth,” Mr Leung said.
As of November 2018, Noble had launched a total of 46 residential projects. Eight of the projects were developed and launched before year 2002 with the total value of B4.8bn, while 38 of the projects were developed and launched between 2002 and 2018, with a total value of B81.7bn.
Noble stocks closed at B20 per share on Feb 22, an increase of B1.50, or 8.11%, compared with the previous market closure, the statement noted.