R&F Properties sets sights on major financing boost after surge in profit

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 March, 2011, 12:00am

Guangzhou R&F Properties, the largest developer in Guangdong province, plans to tap capital markets next month to fund future developments after reporting a 40 per cent jump in underlying profit last year.

'We are looking at innovative ways to enhance our channels for financing. Various investment banks have approached us,' said chairman Li Sze-lim (pictured).

Li said the fund-raising would amount to 'billions of dollars' and would be announced next month. He gave no further details.

The group said core earnings from property development totalled 3.8 billion yuan (HK$4.5 billion) for the year to December and turnover increased 35 per cent to 24.6 billon yuan.

Directors declared a final dividend of 40 fen per share.

Taking into account investment property revaluation gains, net profit jumped 53 per cent to 4.46 billion yuan last year. The group set a contracted sales target of 40 billion yuan this year, up 25 per cent from last year, and Li expects it will generate as much as 6 billion yuan in contracted sales in the first quarter of this year.

He said it had already secured 3.8 billion yuan of sales as of the end of last month.

This year's estimated capital expenditure would be 30 billion yuan, of which 20 billion yuan would be earmarked for land fees and construction costs, he said.

He believed property sales volume would drop about 10 per cent because of government-imposed limits on home purchases that are expected to dampen demand.

'The central government has told developers to build more projects with smaller units for first-time homebuyers instead of luxury housing.

'As developers adjust the product mix according to market demand, the austerity measures will not have a disastrous impact on us,' he said.

Shares of Guangzhou R&F added 1.32 per cent to close at HK$10.68 yesterday.

Meanwhile, Renhe Commercial Holdings, the biggest operator and developer of underground shopping centres on the mainland, reported net profit fell 4.7 per cent to 3.84 billion yuan for the year to December. It declared a final dividend of 7.2 fen.