Sri Lanka commercial rents rising: property firm

Apr 11, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s commercial rents have risen in 2010 with occupancy levels picking up from a slump in 2009, which saw the end of a 30-year war the owners of a prominent Colombo property has said. Overseas Realty Ceylon Ltd, a unit of Singapore’s S P Tao group said occupancy at its twin tower ‘World Trade Centre’ complex rose to 72 percent by year end after slumping to 68 percent in 2009, from an average of 80 percent in past years.

The drop came as tenants left due to high security measures and a global slump which also saw information technology, export firms and airlines either downsizing or moving out.

The firm expects occupancy to reach 80 to 85 percent by end 2011.

Overseas Realty which is also building apartments and a commercial complex through another units said profits (without fair value gains) rose 21 percent in 2010, to 441 million with higher rentals off setting lower apartment sale revenue.

Overseas Realty said it own rent index moved up to 159 points from 150 a year earlier.

Total revenues fell 12 percent to 1,699 million rupees due to lower revenue recognition from apartment sales, though actual final sales were higher. “The resolution of the conflict