Chinese Estates set to be back in black

Business | Daisy Wu 20 Jul 2016

Shares of Chinese Estates Holdings (0127) jumped 16.7 percent to a high for the year of HK$21.15, after it posted a positive profit alert yesterday.

The developer said in a filing to the local bourse it may turn profitable for the first six months this year from a net loss of HK$115 million a year earlier.

Revenue is expected to surge 96 to 106 percent from HK$969 million.

The company will pay out HK$4 billion in special interim dividends, or HK$2.10 per share.

Former chairman and largest shareholder Joseph Lau Luen-hung will pocket more than HK$3 billion with his 74.99-percent stake at the end of last year.

Chinese Estates gained HK$1.28 billion from the disposal of the MassMutual Tower in Wan Chai to Evergrande Real Estate (3333) in January, setting a record high price for a local grade A office building.

But it said the disposal together with the sale of The One, a shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, to Lau last July significantly dragged down rental revenue and net rental income during the six months from a year back.

The company recorded a revenue of about HK$1.48 billion and a gross profit of HK$657 million from sales of certain residential units and car parking spaces at its luxury home project, 55 Conduit Road in Mid-Levels West, which it developed with New World Development (0017) and holds 70 percent of.

The net investment gains of HK$434 million also exceeded the HK$150 million a year earlier, primarily due to an increase in interest income from bonds.

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