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Lend Lease Profit Rises on Australia, Asia Unit Growth

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Lend Lease Group, Australia’s largest property developer, reported a 1.7 percent increase in full-year profit on higher earnings from its Australian and Asian businesses, sending shares to the highest level in a year.

Net income rose to A$501.4 million ($518.8 million) in the 12 months ended June 30, compared with A$492.8 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement to the Australian stock exchange. Operating earnings climbed to A$507.2 million from A$485.3 million.

The shares jumped 2.1 percent to A$8.36 as of 10:16 a.m. in Sydney, the highest since September 2011. That extended gains since it announced tenants for its Sydney financial precinct on June 22 to 15 percent, compared with a 7.1 percent increase in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.

Lend Lease in June said Westpac Banking Corp. and KPMG LLP will take space in the first two towers at its Barangaroo redevelopment in Sydney’s city center, and on July 8 said it had secured A$2 billion in funding for the project. The group is also in exclusive talks with billionaire James Packer’s Crown Ltd. to build a six-star resort on the site, it said this month.

“The group’s continued earnings growth during 2012, which was and currently remains a challenging environment, demonstrates that we are pursuing the right strategy,” Lend Lease Chief Executive Officer Steve McCann said in the statement. “Successfully executing and delivering our extensive pipeline will be a key driver of earnings in the medium term.”

Profit after tax from its Australian business rose 53 percent to A$429.9 million, while income from its Asian division surged to A$106.2 million from A$46.1 million a year earlier.

The company will pay a full-year dividend of 38 Australian cents, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nichola Saminather in Sydney at nsaminather1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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