Henderson Land 2011 Underlying Profit Rises 10% on Rental Income

Henderson Land Development Co., the Hong Kong builder controlled by billionaire Lee Shau-kee, said 2011 underlying profit rose 10 percent on higher rental income and contributions from unit Hong Kong & China Gas Co.

Profit excluding property revaluation gains and deferred taxes rose to HK$5.6 billion ($721 million), or HK$2.41 a share, in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, from HK$5.04 billion, or HK$2.33, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. That compares with a median HK$6.1 billion estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Gross rental income at the company rose 11 percent to a record in 2011 as the influx of tourists from other parts of China and expansion by financial companies fueled growth in retail and office properties. Henderson Land last year didn’t start selling any new residential projects in Hong Kong, where home prices and transactions fell in the second half because of rising mortgage rates and curbs imposed by the government to prevent the formation of an asset bubble.

“The project launches in 2012 should see a better-than-expected selling pace and price” for Henderson Land, Citigroup Inc. Hong Kong-based analyst Ken Yeung wrote in a March 18 report. Yeung forecast the company to sell more than 3,700 units this year as the home market recovers.

Henderson Land, the city’s fourth-biggest builder by value, in 2011 sold a total of 812 units in the city in projects including Beverly Hill and Casa Marina for HK$16.2 billion, accounting for about 9 percent of total residential units sold in Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Centaline Property Agency Ltd.

Henderson Land rose 0.1 percent to close at HK$46.05 in Hong Kong today before the earnings were announced. The stock has dropped 15 percent this year, matching the retreat in the seven-member Hang Seng Property Index of which it is a member.