Naim to spend RM500 mln on affordable, intelligent homes

KUCHING: In line with the market demand for affordable housing and changing customer preference, Naim Group of Companies (Naim) will be spending RM500 million to build affordable and intelligent homes in the next five years.Naim Group managing director Datuk Hasmi Hasnan disclosed that the venture could be partially funded by bank loans, asset sales and new capital injections.

“Affordable homes is a segment which we have been involved in since our inception some 25 years ago. In fact, we have built more than 23,000 property units for the Sarawak community so far. We want to add greater value for our customers by making affordable and intelligent homes.

“With this, we hope to capture some 40 to 60 per cent of the Sarawak market for affordable homes segment, as this is something which appeals to customers intending to purchase homes priced at RM300,000 and below,” he said in a press release yesterday.

Hasmi explained that Naim was confident in keeping development cost at manageable level for the benefit of future house purchasers.

“We will leverage on lessons learnt over 25 years of our operations during which we have built properties of various designs and categories. Besides this, we plan to utilise suitable industrialised building system, backed by big data and analytics which will be extremely useful in managing project-related challenges.“The plan, if implemented, will see the first 2,500 units of such homes being built in the next 5 years, part of our new 25 years’ big dream and paving the way for our vision of building AI homes for one million or more,” he addedApart from affordable and intelligent homes, Naim also has plans to be involved in the education sector, particularly in the early education and tertiary level, especially energy resources-related studies.

Various suitable parties have been identified and more details will be available in time to come, he said.

Hasmi acknowledged that the operating environment was highly challenging in the short term due to the effects of Covid-19 outbreak.The Group recorded a loss of RM15.5 million for the first quarter of this year compared with a modest profit recorded in the corresponding period in 2019, at the back of revenue of RM68.4 million in the first quarter of 2020.

He said the closure of operations during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period has led to lower sales activities, delay in execution of sales contracts/agreements, no construction works at site as well as low collection level. Coupled with the expected soft market sentiment, it will also affect Naim’s overall performance this year.

“We had to make the tough decision of implementing various measures such as temporary salary cuts and manpower right-sizing.The Group had allocated RM7 million for the right-sizing exercise which comprises compensation in line with the law, and additional compensation over and above the statutory rate. We hope that the current situation is temporary. We will continue to monitor the economic conditions and make adjustments accordingly,” he said.