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JOHANNESBURG - Delays in obtaining town planning and local authority approval for the commencement of construction on new developments countrywide negatively impacted the financial results for the six months to February of Balwin, the listed home builder focusing on large scale sectional-title residential estates.

Balwin said these delays had an impact on the development of The Whisken in Kyalami, The Blyde in Pretoria East, Ballito Hills in KwaZulu-Natal, The Jade in Somerset West and Green Park in Boksburg.

The company said its management and team of professionals had engaged with the local authorities to expedite the approval processes and four of these developments had now been approved to commence construction, with approval for the remaining developments imminent.

However, Balwin said these delays had affected a total of 696 apartments and the company would have achieved a slight improvement in its financial results compared to the prior year if these apartments had been completed. It said sales of these apartments would now enhance the results of its 2019 financial year.

Balwin said about 2080 apartments were expected to be handed over in its 2018 financial year, compared with 2711 in the previous year. It added that the average selling prices of apartments had not increased compared to the previous year because of the challenging economic conditions and pressure on its middle-income target-market customers.

Balwin said these factors had resulted in its revenue for the six months to February being lower than expected, resulting in its headline earnings a share being between 28.15percent and 23.18percent lower than in the prior corresponding period. This translates into headline earnings a share of between 101cents and 108c compared to 141c previously. It expects to publish its interim financial results in May.

Balwin shares rose 9.51 percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R5.64.