PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 November, 2004, 12:00am

About a year ago, Midland Realty said it expected property transactions in the secondary market to be the main growth driver for its business as the appetite of developers for selling their housing stock seemed to be diminishing.

The estate agency planned to open 10 new branches in the next two months - initially it planned to open only six - to meet the increased business.

Daiwa Institute of Research (DIR) said it continued to see Midland as a turnaround stock with high leverage. It estimated that fixed annual overheads were less than HK$700 million but the company could tap a market for which turnover was $153 billion in 2002, a depressed year.

DIR maintained its '1' rating on Midland and set a six-month target price of $2.30 a share. The counter was trading at $1.84 a year ago.

At the end of March Midland said it had its largest profit in six years in 2003, with a net income of $122.74 million, its best since the property market bubble burst in 1997. This compared with a loss of $73.72 million in 2002. The counter closed at $3.75 on Friday.