Wheelock Properties doubles profit
The completion of a project in Singapore more than doubled the core profit of Wheelock Properties to HK$671 million for the six months to June but one analyst said a lower completion rate might slow earnings in the second half.
The property arm of Wheelock and Co, a conglomerate controlled by Peter Woo Kwong-ching, changed its financial year-end from March 31 to December 31 to coincide with the fiscal calendar of its ultimate holding company.
A direct comparison with last year was not available but the company's core profit was HK$325 million in the six months to September last year.
Turnover soared 518 per cent to HK$3.97 billion from HK$642 million, boosted mainly by the completion of the Sea View - a 546-unit residential project in Singapore developed by its 76 per cent-owned unit, Wheelock Properties (Singapore).
Net profit jumped 35.6 per cent from the comparable period to HK$655 million. The figure includes a HK$503 million revaluation gain from investment properties and other non-recurring items, such as a net impairment loss of HK$366 million for Singapore-listed SC Global Development shares owned by Wheelock Properties (Singapore) and HK$153 million for an investment in a joint venture.
The Cosmopolitan, a 228-unit project in Singapore, is scheduled for completion in the current quarter and will be a major income stream for the second half. All units were pre-sold by June this year.
Property investment contributed 20.4 per cent more profit to HK$130 million during the period, while operating profit from securities investment slumped 50.4 per cent to HK$122 million because the segment received a special dividend last year.
Projects scheduled for completion in the next few years are developed mainly by its Singapore subsidiary and are smaller in scale. Thus the growth of its earnings was poised to slow, one analyst said.
The company declared an interim dividend of 2 HK cents per share.