SYDNEY, AAP – Property developer Lendlease has posted a first-half earnings decline of 37 per cent after COVID-19 stifled interest in building development.
The company on Monday reported net profit after tax of $196 million, which included a loss of $7 million from having to revalue investment properties.
Lendlease works in development, construction and investments, and the latter was most affected by the pandemic.
Financial returns on investment properties were less than expected, sometimes due to tenants leaving.
Meanwhile in development, which accounts for most of the Lendlease business, potential investment partners and tenants of offices hesitated to strike deals.
Many employers put plans to move or build offices on hold as people were urged to work from home during the pandemic.
The company said uncertainty over COVID-19 was likely to continue affecting sales in the short term, but prospects were better over the medium term.
Shareholders will receive an interim distribution of 15 cents per share, 50 per cent franked, which is lower than the previous interim unfranked distribution of 30 cents per share.
The company earlier this month said chief executive Steve McCann will retire on May 31.
He will be replaced by the boss of Asia operations, Tony Lombardo.
Shares were lower by 1.01 per cent to $11.77 at 1549 AEDT.