Realty firm Macrotech Developers saw a "minor" impact on housing demand in the first two weeks of January this year due to surge in COVID cases and remains confident of meeting the Rs 9,000-crore sales bookings target for this fiscal, its MD & CEO Abhishek Lodha said.
Macrotech Developers markets its properties under the Lodha brand. It is developing projects in the Mumbai region and Pune.
In an interview with PTI, Abhishek Lodha said the company has increased prices by an average 4-5 per cent so far this fiscal.
Continuing with its asset-light model, Lodha said the company has entered into 11 joint development agreements (JDAs), worth Rs 14,500 crore sales value potential, so far this fiscal and hopes to conclude more by March-end.
When asked about the impact of new wave of the COVID infections, Lodha said: "There was a minor impact in the first two weeks of this months as there were restrictions on movement."
However, he said the sentiments among homebuyers remains positive and strong.
"People want to buy and are buying. The importance of home ownership is gaining momentum," Lodha said.
Asked about sales guidance, he said: "we maintain our sales guidance for this fiscal".
Macrotech had given a sales guidance of Rs 9,000 crore for this fiscal year, which is around 50 per cent more than last fiscal at Rs 5,970 crore.
"We have achieved Rs 2,608 crore worth sales booking during October-December period, highest in the last 12 quarters," Lodha said.
Already, Macrotech's sales bookings has increased to Rs 5,568 crore during April-December period of this fiscal, as against Rs 3,351 crore in the year-ago period.
Lodha highlighted that India's housing market has witnessed remarkable turnaround in the last one year.
"The recovery in housing market has taken root and the multi-year up-cycle in housing market is well underway," he believed.
Lodha said the company's sales realisation has improved as prices have gone up by an average 4-5 per cent so far this fiscal. "In some projects, there has been price increase of 3 per cent and in some projects by 8-9 per cent. So, on an average there has been 4-5 per cent increase," he said.
Lodha termed modest price rise as beneficial for both consumers and the industry.
People who own residential properties would like to see appreciation for wealth creation, he observed.
On Tuesday, Macrotech Developers reported a 24 per cent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 286.38 crore for the quarter ended December. Its net profit stood at Rs 231.71 crore in the year-ago period.
Total income, too, increased to Rs 2,148.74 crore during the October-December quarter of this fiscal year as against Rs 1,599.77 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
During the third quarter, net debt for the India business fell sharply to Rs 9,896 crore, thus achieving the full year guidance for FY22.
"There will be meaningful reduction in debt in coming quarters as well," he said.
Macrotech Developers got listed on stock exchanges in April 2021 after launching Rs 2500 crore initial public offer (IPO).
It has recently raised another Rs 4,000 crore from institutional investors via Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) route.
Macrotech Developers has delivered more than 82 million square feet of real estate and is currently developing around 98 million square feet under its ongoing and planned portfolio.
It has about 4,400 acres of land beyond its ongoing and planned portfolio.
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