SINGAPORE (Aug 18): AV Jennings, the Australian-based residential property developer, posted a 19% increase in FY16 earnings to A$40.9 million ($42 million).

The stronger bottomline was driven by a 32.7% rise in revenue to A$421.9 million, lifted by changes in product mix and project share and buoyed by previous announcements that it would acquire the interests of joint venture partners in the Argyle project in Sydney and St Clair project in Adelaide.

Work in progress was up 11.2% from a year ago while the level of unsold completed stock stood at 2.8% by value of total lots under control as at end FY16. Gearing remains low with a debt-to-equity ratio of 17.9%.

Despite the disruption of a protracted federal election campaign and ongoing policy uncertainties, the company says that the outlook for residential property demand drivers remains positive, particularly in traditional housing.

It adds that given the low interest rate environment, coupled with inflation, population growth and continuing shortages of detached and semi-detached houses and low-rise apartments in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, demand from owner-occupiers and local investors should continue to remain steady.

The company has declared a final dividend of 3.5 Australian cents per share. Together with the interim dividend of 1.5 Australian cents a share declared earlier, total dividend for FY16 is 5.0 Australian cents.

Shares of AV Jennings closed unchanged at 66 Australian cents on Wednesday.