UACN property Development Company  (UPDC) Plc is focused on long term value creation and has put in place strategies to enable it take advantage of emerging opportunities in the market place.     The Chairman of the Company, Mr. Larry Ettah, stated this while addressing shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos yesterday.
He noted that the Nigerian market remained attractive as there were significant untapped potentials in the residential segment, and numerous opportunities in the hospitality, retail, commercial and industrial segments of the market in the near term.     any’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos yesterday.

He, however, pointed out that the challenges being faced by the industry in terms of title uncertainties, high cost of funding, inadequate mortgage financing and poor infrastructure were expected to persist in the medium term and would continue to prevent effective demand in the low/medium residential market segments.

Commenting on the operational environment, he noted that in recent years, foreign private equity firms have invested millions of dollars in the Nigerian real estate market, attributing the interest in the country’s market to huge demand which is driven by increasing urban population and changing shopping culture among the expanding middle class.

He said: “The real estate market is gradually rebounding and has experienced reasonable growth and performance in the last few years. This performance is largely driven by the re-emergence of the Nigerian middle-class and the increasing demand for decent residential and commercial accommodation by high net-worth individuals, corporate organizations and key players in the retail segment of the economy.”

Ettah explained that the upturn in economic activity experienced from fourth quarter of 2011 to date, has led to an increase in demand and supply for commercial and high end residential developments, particularly in the key cities of Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.

He revealed that the company continued its ongoing developments in 2014 and commenced some new ones.

Providing details on the company’s plan for the future, he said, “Our strategy for 2015 and beyond include deleveraging the business through equity capital injection, disposal of the surplus stake currently held in UPDC REIT (21.5 per cent) to generate liquidity and re-creating our products portfolio to include more commercial and retail offerings which have proven to be more resilient revenue sources in periods of depression.”

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