Henderson Land Earnings Rise 26% on China Property Sales

Henderson Land Development Co., the Hong Kong builder controlled by billionaire Lee Shau-kee, said full-year earnings climbed 26 percent, helped by an increase in property sales in mainland China.

Underlying profit, which excludes revaluation gains and deferred taxes, rose to HK$8.94 billion ($1.15 billion), or HK$3.35 a share, last year, from HK$7.09 billion, or HK$2.70, in 2012, the company said in a stock exchange filing yesterday. That compares with the HK$7.9 billion average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Henderson Land, which focuses on developments targeting middle-class homebuyers, said gross revenue from mainland China property sales more than doubled to HK$5.17 billion. Revenue from Hong Kong property sales increased 56 percent to HK$10.6 billion.

The shares climbed 2 percent to HK$41.50 as of 10:47 a.m. in Hong Kong after gaining as much as 2.3 percent. The stock has declined 6.1 percent this year, compared with a 9.1 percent decline in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

China’s home sales in 2013 exceeded $1 trillion for the first time as property prices surged in the absence of further nationwide housing curbs. In contrast, Hong Kong builders sold the fewest homes in almost two decades last year as the government stepped up measures to prevent a bubble in the housing market.

Including revaluation gains, Henderson Land’s 2013 net income fell to HK$15.9 billion from HK$20.2 billion a year earlier, the company said. The company said it will pay a final dividend of 74 Hong Kong cents a share.

Lee, 86, is Asia’s third-richest man with an estimated wealth of $21.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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