CAIRO, March 30 (Reuters) - SODIC, one of Egypt’s largest real estate developers, hopes to maintain last year’s sales momentum as demand for upmarket residential units remains strong despite a weak economy, its managing director said.
“We are hoping to have last year’s sales,” Ahmed Badrawi told Reuters. The firm made net sales of 1.6 billion Egyptian pounds ($235.19 million) in 2012 and 560 million pounds in the first quarter, he said.
SODIC will increase investments to 900 million pounds this year, up from 800 million pounds in 2012 as demand for its upmarket housing units stayed strong despite a weak economy.
Egypt’s real estate sector was thrown into turmoil with the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, triggering a protracted economic crisis, a decline of the local currency and political violence.
“Underlying demand is generally strong,” Badrawi said. “It’s an inflationary environment. People want to pick up assets. Real estate you can pick with relative low payment terms.”
He said SODIC would bring seven housing projects online this year, adding that firm hoped to soon resolve a long running legal dispute with the government over its Eastown project.
“We are going in a very positive direction,” he said of the project, declining further comment on the land dispute.
SODIC made a net profit of 257 million pounds in 2012 after a net loss in 2011. ($1 = 6.8031 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by)