New World Development

New World Development eyes 30pc growth in flat sales this year

Developer projects contracted sales to come in at HK$12 billion after strong second half

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 February, 2013, 5:02am

New World Development is targeting growth of up to 30 per cent in property sales for the year to June after achieving a strong performance in the second half of last year.

The developer generated HK$9.2 billion from contracted sales in the previous financial year.

"We planned to achieve a 20 to 30 per cent growth in contracted sales this financial year," said Adrian Cheng Chi-kong, New World's executive director and joint general manager.

The company planned to generate between HK$11 billion and HK$12 billion from contracted sales. It aims to sell 3,300 flats.

"We sold 1,500 flats in the six months to December last year and 757 flats from January 1 to February 24," Cheng said. "We have achieved more than 50 per cent of the contracted sales target so far and plan to achieve contracted sales of HK$5 billion to HK$6 billion in the second half [of this financial year]."

Chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun yesterday said the company planned to achieve double-digit growth in property sales every year for the next five years.

Despite the government releasing a fresh round of tightening measures for the property market last Friday, he believes the policies will only be able to cool the market in the short term.

"It will have a small impact in the market. But the impact will be limited and people will buy property again after they get used to the policies. In the long term, the government has to solve the housing problem by balancing demand and supply," Henry Cheng said, adding that New World would not revise its sales target.

The developer yesterday announced its underlying profit, excluding gains from property revaluation, had surged 45 per cent to HK$4.1 billion for the six months to December last year.

Net profit jumped 91 per cent to HK$9.99 billion, thanks to strong growth in property sales.

Revenue climbed 28 per cent to HK$24.46 billion.

The Signature development in Tai Hang and the Riverpark project in Sha Tin were the major contributors to earnings.

New World sold a total of 2,104 flats at four major projects last year. The developer has applied to presell four residential projects this year, including a 576-flat luxury residential project at Austin Station in West Kowloon.

The company also plans to sell its non-core assets.

It proposed to declare an interim dividend of 12 HK cents per share, up from 10 HK cents a year ago.

Meanwhile, at New World China - the group's mainland property arm - net profit grew 29 per cent to HK$2.32 billion in the six months to December last year.

The company's contracted sales jumped 101 per cent to 8.48 billion yuan (HK$10.46 billion).

Henry Cheng said there were a number of commercial projects being built in cities such as Shenyang, Guangzhou and Wuhan and he expects that they may help total rental income to double in five to six years.

Regarding property development, he said: "We will buy more small development sites in the mainland and may be able to build at the same time. It helps us to speed up property sales and enhance our sales performance."

The company declared an interim dividend of 3 HK cents a share, unchanged from the year-ago period.

Shares of New World Development rose 3.77 per cent to close at HK$13.76 yesterday, while New World China climbed 1.18 per cent to HK$3.44.