In what is clearly a demonstration of resilience in a challenging business environment, the UAC Property Development Company (UPDC), a frontline real estate investor in Nigeria, has bounced back after a short spell of business downturn.
The company, at media parley in Lagos recently, revealed that it recorded a revenue surge from N825 million in 2021 to N5.9 billion in 2022 with property sales accounting for N5.1 billion, representing 614 percent increase.
Odunayo Ojo, the company’s MD/CEO, in a presentation at the media parley, noted that after six consecutive years of losses, the company returned to profitability with a profit before tax of N331 million compared to a loss of N1.6bn in 2021 and a total comprehensive profit of N7 million as against a loss of over N2 billion recorded in 2021.
Ojo attributed the company’s turnaround to various factors, including acquisition and recapitalization, disclosing that they had a plan to focus on projects, particularly middle-income housing, to sustain their revenue stream.
“UPDC plans to deliver over 1,500 housing units to the real estate market over the next 5 years; as developers, it’s one of our responsibilities to address the shortage of housing; so we have started moving away from the luxury products to the middle-income product on our way to get into the affordable housing sector,” he said.
Ojo said that the middle-income housing was the cornerstone of their commercial direction, believing that the middle-income housing was the future of the real estate industry.
He revealed that some of the initiatives that the company was is looking at in 2023 included commitment to business growth, shareholder value increase and re-launching of Festival Hotel.
Others were excellent project delivery and high-quality products, continued focus on middle-income housing/worker’s housing scheme, development and asset management mandates, technology-driven processes and sustainability.
“2023 is going to be another challenging year; at the end of the day, what Nigerians expect from us is performance. We have the general public that needs to be housed, youths that need to be employed, and shareholders that need to earn income.
We also have the government that needs to earn taxes and grow its revenue. UPDC is an important member of this economy, and we intend to continue to increase value through our growth as a business,” he assured.
On making housing affordable for Nigerians, Ojo noted that it was important and required more than the private sector, stressing that it needed collaboration between the private and the public sector.
“Sometimes last year the pension commission gave approval that workers could use 25 percent of their retirement savings account as equity contribution for housing acquisition and projects. We intend to look at that area because we see it as a very good policy shift by the government and we believe that this is going to improve the ability of workers especially, to acquire their own homes,” he said.