Finished projects lift Wheelock profit

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 March, 2009, 12:00am
 

Wheelock Properties' underlying profit came to HK$1.4 billion last year, thanks to completed projects in Singapore, but analysts expect earnings to slow this year because of fewer completions.

Underlying earnings last year were higher than the HK$826 million for the nine months to December 2007. No year-on-year figures were available, since the firm changed its financial year end from March to December.

Including non-recurring items, net profit was HK$816 million last year, less than the HK$1.54 billion for the nine months in the previous year, when a HK$1.45 billion revaluation gain was recorded.

The firm booked a HK$527 million fair-value gain from investment properties last year but also HK$1.11 billion in impairment losses at 76 per cent-owned Wheelock Properties (Singapore) on the investment in Singapore-listed SC Global Development and Hotel Properties.

Revenue surged to a record HK$6.27 billion, mainly driven by the completion of the Sea View and Cosmopolitan projects developed by Wheelock Properties (Singapore).

A final dividend of 8 HK cents per share was declared.

Property development made an operating profit of HK$1.32 billion last year, almost 80 per cent of the total. However, as most of its projects are scheduled for completion next year or later, analysts said an earnings gap would emerge.

At the end of last year, the firm's share of cumulative reserved profits from the projects sold by Wheelock Properties (Singapore) amounted to HK$710 million.

The stock dropped 3.36 per cent to close at HK$2.30 before the results announcement.

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