HongKong Land's earnings down 3% in H1

Revenue rose 50.3 per cent to US$905.1 million from a year ago.
Revenue rose 50.3 per cent to US$905.1 million from a year ago.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - HongKong Land has posted a 3 per cent fall in underlying net profit to US$419 million (S$631.69 milliom) in the first half, as higher contributions from its commercial portfolio and residential business in mainland China failed to offset the lack of contribution from the residential arm in Hong Kong.

The group uses underlying net profit as a clearer indication of operations, since this strips out a net gain of US$94 million, due mainly to the valuation of the group's investment properties. If non-trading gains are included, the group's net profit fell 9 per cent to US$513 million in the six months to June 30, as these gains stood at US$130 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue rose 50.3 per cent to US$905.1 million from a year ago, driven by a 262.6 per cent surge in property sales to US$ 419.9 in the first half. Service and rental income remained relatively steady.

Operating results were "marginally higher", but this was offset by higher tax charges due to the geographic mix of sales, the group said.

It added: "While the strong performance from the commercial portfolio is expected to continue in the second half of the year, earnings from our residential business will be lower than last year mainly due to fewer completions in Singapore and no sales in Hong Kong."

The Hong Kong commercial office market "showed signs of improvement" as leasing activity picked up in the first half, the group said.

Construction is also in progress at the group's luxury retail complex project in Beijing, WF CENTRAL in Wangfujing, and its office tower in central Jakarta, the World Trade Centre Three development.

Earnings per share stood at 17.82 US cents, down from 18.38 US cents the previous year.

Net asset value per share was US$11.76, up from US$11.71 as at Dec 31 last year.

The group declared an interim dividend of six US cents per share, unchanged from the previous year.

The shares closed one cent down or 0.13 per cent lower at S$7.64 .

marilee@sph.com.sg