Sino Land Underlying Profit Rises 25% on Property Sales, Rents

Sino Land Co., the developer which derives most of its earnings from Hong Kong, said full-year underlying profit rose 25 percent on higher earnings from property sales and rental income.

Profit excluding increases in real estate values grew to HK$6.64 billion ($856 million) for the 12 months ended June 30 from HK$5.31 billion a year earlier, Sino Land said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange statement today. That compares with the mean estimate of HK$6.4 billion of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Hong Kong developers last year accelerated property sales including offices and malls as the Hong Kong government stepped up measures to rein in home prices. Earnings at Sino Land, the worst performer in the nine-member Hang Seng Property Index this year, was also supported by gains in rental income from offices and malls in the city.

Shares of Sino Land have fallen 27 percent this year, compared with the 9.9 percent decline in the property gauge. The stock dropped 1.9 percent to HK$10.12 at the close of trading in Hong Kong today, before earnings were announced.

Sino Land, the smallest developer in the property measure, is controlled by the family of billionaire Robert Ng, who has an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Rising Prices

Earnings from rental properties gained 9 percent from a year ago to HK$2.8 billion, while profit from property sales rose to HK$4.51 billion from HK$3.02 billion, the company said in today’s statement.

Hong Kong home prices have more than doubled since early 2009 and have surpassed their 1997 peak earlier last year. Leung Chun-ying, who took over as the city’s leader last July, has imposed extra property transaction taxes and raised mortgage minimum down payment requirement in a bid to rein in prices.

Total home transactions in the city fell to the lowest since 1996 in the first half as Leung doubled stamp duty taxes on property deals in February. Prices have fallen about 3 percent from March, according to Centaline Property Agency Ltd.

Sino Land will pay a final dividend of 38 Hong Kong cents a share, compared with 36 Hong Kong cents a year earlier.