City Developments Limited (CDL) is one of the largest and most established property developers in Singapore. With a track record spanning over five decades, CDL has built an impressive portfolio of residential, commercial, and industrial properties across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at CDL’s history, its business operations, and its future prospects.

History of CDL

CDL was founded in 1963 as a property development and investment company in Singapore. The company’s early projects included low-cost housing and industrial buildings. However, CDL’s first major breakthrough came in 1972 with the development of the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, which helped establish the company’s reputation as a high-end property developer.

Over the years, CDL has expanded its operations beyond Singapore, with a presence in countries such as China, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Today, CDL is a diversified property and hospitality conglomerate with a market capitalization of over S$6.5 billion (as of March 2023).

Business Operations of CDL

CDL’s core business is property development, which accounts for about 70% of the company’s revenue. The company develops a wide range of properties, including residential apartments, landed homes, commercial offices, and retail malls. CDL also has a significant presence in the hospitality industry, owning and managing hotels and serviced apartments in Singapore, China, and the United Kingdom.

In addition to property development and hospitality, CDL is also involved in facilities management, property management, and project management. The company’s facilities management arm, M&E Contracting, provides mechanical and electrical services to building owners and tenants. CDL’s property management business manages a portfolio of over 18 million square feet of commercial and residential properties in Singapore. The company’s project management unit provides consultancy services for property development projects.

Sustainability Initiatives

In recent years, CDL has been recognized for its sustainability efforts. The company has made a commitment to be a leader in sustainability in the real estate industry, with a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. CDL has set up an internal sustainability committee to oversee the company’s efforts in this area.

CDL’s sustainability initiatives include the adoption of green building technologies, the implementation of energy-efficient measures in its buildings, and the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power. The company has also launched several green building initiatives, including the CDL Green Gallery, an exhibition space showcasing green building technologies and sustainable practices.

Financial Performance

CDL has a strong financial track record, with consistent revenue and profit growth over the past decade. In 2021, the company reported revenue of S$4.4 billion and a net profit of S$506 million. CDL’s earnings per share have also been consistently strong, with a five-year average of S$0.25 per share.

CDL’s financial performance has been supported by a strong balance sheet, with low debt levels and a healthy cash balance. The company’s net debt-to-equity ratio is below 0.2, indicating a low level of financial leverage. CDL has also maintained a strong liquidity position, with a cash balance of over S$3.5 billion as of December 2021.

Future Prospects

CDL’s future prospects look promising, with a strong pipeline of property development projects in Singapore and overseas. The company has several high-profile projects in the pipeline, including the redevelopment of the Sengkang Central area in Singapore and the joint development of a residential project in Tokyo, Japan.

CDL is also well-positioned to benefit from the recovery of the hospitality industry which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As vaccination rates increase and travel restrictions ease, CDL’s hotels and serviced apartments are expected to see an uptick in occupancy rates and revenue.

In addition, CDL’s sustainability initiatives are expected to enhance the company’s reputation and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers and investors. CDL’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is in line with the global trend towards sustainability and green investing.

However, CDL’s future prospects are not without risks. The property development industry is subject to regulatory and economic risks, including changes in government policies, interest rate fluctuations, and global economic uncertainty. In addition, CDL’s overseas operations are exposed to foreign exchange risks, which may impact the company’s financial performance.


City Developments Limited (CDL) is a leading property developer and hospitality conglomerate with a strong track record and promising future prospects. CDL’s diversified business operations, sustainability initiatives, and strong financial performance make it a desirable investment for both consumers and investors.

However, CDL’s future success will depend on the company’s ability to navigate regulatory and economic risks and adapt to changing market trends. CDL’s commitment to sustainability and green investing is a positive step towards building a resilient and sustainable business model for the future.

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