HONG KONG: A sizeable gain from the revaluation of investment properties saw earnings at Hongkong Land Holdings rocket 147 per cent in the first half of this year. The property group reported a net profit of US$3.13 billion (S$4.2 billion) for the six months ended June 30, well up from the US$1.26 billion in the same period a year earlier. This was after taking into account a net gain of US$2.61 billion arising on the revaluation of its investment properties. Revenue came in at US$1.3 billion, higher than the US$782.8 million previously while underlying profit leapt 32 per cent to US$517 million.
Hongkong Land said yesterday that the group’s investment properties produced an increased contribution due to higher average rents in Hong Kong. Increased sales at its development properties – residential and mixed-use projects – brought improved profits in both mainland China and Singapore. Earnings per share was 132.83 US cents, more than double the 53.7 US cents previously. Net asset value per share jumped 9 per cent to US$14.54 as at June 30, compared with the US$13.30 as at Dec 31 last year. The group has recommended an interim dividend of six US cents per share. Chairman Ben Keswick noted in a statement that within its investment properties, office rental reversions in Hong Kong were positive as market supply remained tight. But mildly negative rental reversions continued in the group’s Singapore office portfolio, reflecting the relative surplus of market supply.
Hongkong Land’s net debt stood at US$1.9 billion at June 30, down from US$2 billion at the end of 2016. Net gearing was 5 per cent, compared with 6 per cent previously. “The good performance of the group’s investment property portfolio is expected to continue in the second half of the year, although the contribution from development properties will not benefit from further sales completions in Singapore,” Mr Keswick said. Hongkong Land shares closed up 0.7 per cent or five US cents to US$7.59, before the results were announced.