Henderson posts second straight drop in interim revenue, as one of Hong Kong's largest developers falls victim to real estate slump

By Sandy Li sandy.li@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3023780/henderson-posts-second-straight-drop-interim-revenue-one-hong-kongs?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | September 11, 2019 11:57 AM SGT
Henderson Land Development reported its second consecutive double-digit percentage decline in interim revenue, as one of Hong Kong's largest developers fell victim to the city's slowing property market.
Turnover fell 38 per cent to HK$8.12 billion in the six months ended June, while first-half underlying profit, excluding revaluation gains on investment properties, dropped to HK$6.7 billion. Revenue from real estate sales plunged 68 per cent to HK$2.7 billion during the period, said Henderson, founded by Hong Kong second-richest man Lee Shau-kee.
The drastic decline underscores how Hong Kong's stumbling property market is biting some of the city's biggest developers and wealthiest tycoons, as a year-long trade war combined with more than two months of social unrest into a toxic mix that deterred many property buyers from making long-term capital commitments.
Hong Kong has descended into nearly 12 weeks of unprecedented social unrest, ever since an estimated 1 million people marched on the streets to oppose a controversial extradition bill. Even though the bill was declared "dead" by the city's leader, rallies have persisted, and degenerated into bouts of violent clashes between protesters and police.
"Conflict in the community has continued to escalate, taking a further toll on the economy," Henderson said in a statement. "The group will closely monitor the situation, assess the risk, and take appropriate measures."
The company, Hong Kong's fourth-largest developer by capitalisation, plans to release 1,400 residential units for sale in the second half, expressing optimism that "limited near-term housing supply and a low mortgage interest rate should continue to lend support to the local property market."
The developer claims to be the largest owner of farmland in the New Territories, with 45.9 million square feet of land reserve. It has a total land bank of 24.7 million sq ft in Hong Kong, and owns between 80 and 100 per cent stakes in 27 newly acquired urban projects representing about 4.3 million sq ft in gross floor area.
The company's Henderson Investment unit, which operates department stores in Hong Kong including Citistore and UNY HK, reported a 56 per cent decline in...