Hongkong Land reports 63% jump in half year underlying net profit to $657 million

Hongkong Land Holdings announced that its underlying net profit for the half year swelled by 63 per cent to US$519 million (S$657 millon).

Revenue for the six months to June 30 soared by 91 per cent to US$912 million.

Hongkong Land said it benefited from higher rents achieved in its commercial properties and the completion of two large residential projects in Singapore.

In Singapore, the office portfolio was 97 per cent leased, including Tower 3 of Marina Bay Financial Centre, which is now 90 per cent committed. Rental levels were stable, but new leases were principally for smaller spaces, with overall activity remaining relatively subdued.

Two large projects were completed in Singapore.

MCL Land's The Estuary project, with 608 units, had been fully sold.

At the one-third owned Marina Bay Suites development, the final residential component of the Marina Bay Financial Centre complex, 89 per cent of the 221 units were sold prior to completion.

Este Villa, a fully sold MCL Land project of 121 freehold townhouses, is scheduled for completion in the second half of the year.

In Hong Kong, the limited new supply of office and retail space is supporting rental increases on lease renewal.

In the group's key residential markets, sentiment remains affected by government measures to dampen prices, particularly in the premium sector.

Nonetheless, overall sales of residential projects in Singapore and mainland China have been satisfactory.

Underlying earnings per share jumped to 22.08 US cents from 13.58 US cents previously.

Hongkong Land uses underlying profit rather than net profit in its internal financial reporting to distinguish between ongoing business performance and non-trading items.

Management considers this to be a key measure which provides additional information to enhance understanding of the group's underlying business performance.

Net asset value per share climbed to US$11.21 compared to US$11.11 as at Dec 31.

The company declared an unchanged interim dividend of six US cents a share.