Australian Financial Review: Listed Western Australia property developer Cedar Woods Properties has doubled its profit for the half year to December 31, as a result of better project margins.

Net profit after tax was $18.1 million, up 100 per cent from the previous year’s result of $9 million.

While revenue remained steady at $77 million, the company found cost savings in lower development expenses, particularly cheaper contractors outside NSW, and through low land costs in many projects.

The company, which is developing in four states, anticipates the settlement of the majority of its $176 million in pre-sales in the second half, which will push up net profit to $43 million.

With a conversion rate of buyers to settlement at 95 per cent, the company was on target to meet this outlook, chief executive Paul Sadleir said. It declared a fully franked interim dividend of 12¢ a share.

In the half year, the company acquired a 3.81-hectare infill site approved for 279 dwellings in Wooloowin, Brisbane, for $24.6 million to develop a mix of townhouses, apartments and office and retail spaces.

The company also made its debut in Adelaide and is the preferred buyer to negotiate the acquisition of a 16.5-hectare site in Glenside for a masterplan community.

The company joined the march of developers taking apartments to the outer suburbs with its 57-unit Newton Apartments in Williams Landing, 20 kilometres south-west of Melbourne’s central business district.

On Monday, the company also announced it will be constructing a $6.5 million expansion of The Williams Landing Shopping Centre, with financing from Bankwest.

Over the past year, the company’s share price has fallen from $6.18 to $4.05 at the close of Monday, amid expectations of a slowing residential market. Just after results were released, its share price rose to $4.25 but settled back at $4.

 Read more at Sydney Morning Herald website – Cedar Woods doubles first half profit.