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COUNTRY’S largest real estate company, DLF Ltd has reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,515.48 crore for quarter ending June, with consolidated revenues of Rs 3,120.98 crore for FY 2007-08. On a stand-alone basis, net profit is pegged at Rs 579.27 crore over revenues of Rs 1,207.11 crore.

DLF Board also recommended a Rs 2 per share of around Rs 340 crore to all shareholders, including new ones who joined the fold during the Initial Public Offer. The company has kept aside Rs 602 crore as a provision for tax for the Q1 of FY‘08, which is equal to the company’s total tax payout for the last financial year. The DLF scrip ended flat at Rs 645.55 on BSE, marginally up by 0.02%.

DLF vice chairman Rajiv Singh said the group planned to invest over Rs 10,000 crore annually in the coming years across various verticals, including residential, retail, office, hotels and SEZs. “Our focus in the coming quarters this year would be on acquisition of land for SEZs, launching middle income housing projects across the country, and development of hotel properties,” Mr. Singh said. The group has recently floated two new subsidiaries, DLF Hotel Holdings and DLF SEZ Holdings, to take care of the two verticals. The group’s SEZ projects are expected to take off in 2008 with delivery schedule spread over two to three years. Mr. Singh attributed the surge in the group’s profits to a strong demand for office, retail and high-end residential spaces.

The company has increased its land bank from 10,200 acre to 13,000 acre over the last five months, which translates into development potential of 625 million sq feet. “Over the next 3-5 years we expect the development potential to hover around the 500 million sq feet mark,” he said.

The real estate major has chalked out plans to launch mid-segment housing projects in 30 cities across the country. With an average size of 1,500 sq feet, the three-bed room apartments and expandable villas are likely to cost anywhere between Rs 40-50 lakh, Mr. Singh said. To start with projects are being launched in Chennai, Bangalore, Indore, Chandigarh, and Kolkata. “We plan to offer 15,000 to 20,000 units of middle income houses each year, with each project comprising 3,000-4,000 units,” Mr. Singh said.

In the coming years, the middle-class housing projects would be a major thrust area for the company accounting for almost 50% of total volume of projects. However its share in terms of value would in the region of 20%, Mr. Singh said.

He said he expected the housing loan interest rates to stabilise in the near term. “Given the rate at which the economy is growing upper single digit would be the right rate,” he added. He said the middle-income housing projects to account for 20 million square feet of the 50 million sq ft the company plans to develop ever year.

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