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Lodha group hopes customers will bite at top end of market

The Lodha group spokesperson said nearly 60% of the World Towers project has been sold.
Lodha is developing in excess of 30 million sq. ft of prime real estate, with at least 27 projects in and around Mumbai. It has the potential to develop up to 50-60 million sq. ft of land, said Sanjay Dutt, executive managing director, South Asia, at real estate consultant firm Cushman and Wakefield. “Lodha has come up over the last 10 years,” Dutt said. “No other developer in the country is developing so many projects at one time.”
In comparison, India’s largest real estate developer DLF Ltd has 332 million sq. ft of planned projects with 62 million sq. ft of projects under construction, according to data available on the firm’s website.
Unitech Ltd’s website says it has a total deliverable area of 52.5 million sq. ft and has sold 4.4 million sq. ft of residential property by December 2012.
Lodha group is not a listed entity and doesn’t release financial data. But according to the information filed with the registrar of companies, Lodha is still fairly low down on the pecking order. It posted a profit of Rs.30 crore in fiscal 2012 compared with Rs.14.6 crore in fiscal 2010. (Data for fiscal 2011 is not available.) Total income rose to Rs.332 crore in 2011-12 from Rs.235.6 crore in 2009-10, while total expenditure increased to Rs.72 crore from Rs.21.5 crore. A real estate consultant, who did not want to be named, attributed the rise in expenses to multiple projects being underdevelopment.
In contrast, DLF’s revenue for fiscal 2012 stood at Rs.9,629 crore while net profit was Rs.1,200 crore. Revenue in the March quarter was Rs.1,310 crore while net profit was Rs.285 crore. Unitech’s revenue for fiscal 2012 was Rs.2,421 crore and net profit was Rs.237 crore. Revenue for the March quarter stood at Rs.644 crore and profit at Rs.84 crore.
Among Lodha’s other projects is the Blue Moon residential project on a 17.5-acre parcel in central Mumbai that it acquired from DLF at Rs.23,000-25,000 per sq. ft in January. Apartments here were sold using what Lodha calls an initial public method. This means that the price band is known only to potential customers and an automated algorithm system is used to allot apartments to buyers.
“In January, Lodha sold two buildings in its Blue Moon project for Rs.4,000 crore. The total number of flats sold (was) 800,” the company said.
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