Hong Kong's Sino Land reports half-year profit of HK$2.37 billion, expects improved sales in second half

Hong Kong property developer Sino Land reported a 73 per cent drop in underlying net profit attributable to shareholders for the July to December period, largely owing to one-off asset disposals in the year earlier period.
Underlying profit, excluding the revaluation gains on investment property, was HK$2.37 billion (US$301.92 million) compared to HK$8.93 billion in 2017, according to a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday.
Revenue jumped 17 per cent to HK$4.59 billion, slightly lower than the HK$4.62 billion consensus in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.
Sino Land said core earnings in the same period last year were HK$3.27 billion when excluding the one-off gain on the disposal of an 80 per cent interest in The Palazzo development in Chengdu.
Analysts said Sino Land would likely show a stronger result in the fiscal second half thanks to upcoming home sales.
"Strong sales from Grand Central development in Kwun Tong will boost the second-half earnings," said Kenny Tang, chief executive of China Hong Kong Capital Asset Management.
Tang said home buying sentiment would improve further as a result of the postponement of further interest rate tightening by the US Federal Reserve.
Shares in Sino Land fell 1.22 per cent to close at HK$14.62 on Thursday ahead of the after-hours earnings announcement.
Sino Land said it has generated HK$19.3 billion in revenue from the sale of Mayfair By The Sea 8 in Tai Po, Madison Park in Cheung Sha Wan and Grand Central in Kwun Tong.
The developer said it has sold about half of the 528 units at Mayfair By The Sea 8, about three-quarters of the 1,999 units at Grand Central, and more than two-thirds of the 100 units at Madison Park.
During the six-month period, property sales tumbled 52.93 per cent to HK$2.15 billion, while gross rental income increased 4.8 per cent to HK$2.09 billion.
"The group's recurrent businesses, which comprise property leasing, hospitality and property management services, continue to contribute stable stream of income," said the company's chairman, Robert Ng Chee Siong.
"With a good financial position, the group is well positioned to respond to the changing economic environment," he said.
Robert Ng Chee Siong, chairman of Sino Land, attends the funeral service of real estate tycoon Walter Kwok Ping-sheung on November 1, 2018. Photo: Sam Tsang
Tang said the company would expand its investment portfolio to maintain a stable recurrent income amid growing difficulties in acquiring land at government tender.
Sino Land had cash and bank deposits of HK$26.57 billion as of December 31.
The group has a land bank of 21.7 million square feet of attributable floor area in the mainland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney.
The developer declared an interim dividend of 14 HK cents per share, up from 13 HK cents last year. Sino Land also declared a special dividend of 45 HK cents per share in 2017.
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