Sino Land’s First-Half Underlying Profit Rises 81% on Home Sales

Sino Land Co., the developer that derives almost all its earnings from Hong Kong, said fiscal first-half underlying profit rose 81 percent after booking more apartment sales as the city’s home prices rose to a record.

Profit excluding revaluation gains increased to HK$4.49 billion ($579 million) for the six months ended Dec. 31 from HK$2.49 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange today. That compares with the HK$3.9 billion median estimates of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Sino Land, controlled by the family of billionaire Robert Ng, last year more than tripled the number of homes it sold in Hong Kong, where home prices have doubled in the past four years, according to figures compiled by Centaline Property Agency Ltd. Builders in the city are accelerating home sales as the government pledged to increase land supply to make housing more affordable for the general public.

“Sino is clearly a beneficiary of rising land supply,” CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets analysts Susanna Leung and Nicole Wong wrote in a report yesterday. The developer has expanded its land reserve by 26 percent since July, according to the analysts.

The developer, the smallest among the nine-member Hang Seng Property Index, rose 2.9 percent to HK$13.64 at the close of trading in Hong Kong today, before earnings were announced. The stock has fallen 1.2 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 15 percent gain in the index.

Sino Land said revenue from rental properties gained 9.9 percent from a year ago to HK$1.4 billion, while revenue from home sales more than doubled to HK$3.9 billion.

The builder sold about 1,900 homes for revenue of more than HK$21 billion in 2012, according to Centaline.

Hong Kong home prices have doubled since early 2009 and have surpassed their 1997 peak earlier last year, according to Centaline.

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