OPIN More Than Doubles H1 Profit

MTPeople standing on Novoslobodskaya Ulitsa in front of the headquarters of developer Open Investments on Monday.
Property developer Open Investments, or OPIN, said Thursday that first-half net profit more than doubled but added that it planned to borrow $750 million this year to help complete several projects.

The company, which focuses on residential real estate and office space in Moscow, said net profit was $90.4 million compared with $37.8 million in the first half of 2007, with revenue jumping 81 percent to $151.2 million mainly because of an increase in house sales.

"In the first six months of the year, OPIN has enjoyed strong growth in asset values, revenue and profit. This growth is the result of both the strong performance of existing projects and of the expansion of the company's land bank," chief executive Sergei Bachin said in a statement.

The company acquired more than 6,400 hectares of land in the first half of the year, doubling its land bank to more than 12,000 hectares as of June 30.

Chief financial officer Denis Davydko said during a conference call that the company planned to borrow an additional $750 million this year to help it complete several projects. This follows a $491 million share placing in June, its sixth since it became the first Russian real estate company to hold an IPO, in 2004.

The company is currently talking to Sberbank about a $250 million loan with an interest rate of 11 percent to 11.5 percent.

Profit before tax rose to $127.3 million from $42.8 million and total assets increased 40 percent to $4.9 billion as of June 30, up from $3.5 billion a year ago.