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Kerry Properties aims for sales of HK$11 billion despite curbs

Developer shrugs off higher rates and cooling measures as it books 28pc rise in core profit

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 March, 2013, 4:37am

Kerry Properties has maintained its sales target of HK$11 billion for this year, despite banks raising mortgage rates and the government releasing a series of measures to cool the property market.

Executive director Steven Ho Shut-kan yesterday said the higher mortgage rates, cooling measures and new restrictions on property sales would definitely affect developers' sales strategy.

"But we don't have a lot of stock and most of our residential projects are of high quality," Ho said. "This helps us to maintain the sales target. We are cautiously optimistic about the market outlook."

Louis Wong, the chief financial officer, said: "About HK$6 billion of the contracted sales will come from Hong Kong projects, while the remaining HK$5 billion will come from the mainland. We will be able to maintain profits if we ask for an aggressive price in our projects."

Kerry plans to launch Bayview, a residential tower in To Kwa Wan, and continue to sell the remaining flats at other projects this year.

The company, which won a Ho Man Tin site for HK$11.69 billion at an auction, will invest HK$17 billion on the plot.

On the mainland, residential projects in Hangzhou and Tangshan will be the major contributors this year.

Wong Siu-kong, the company's president, said the reintroduction of a 20 per cent capital gains tax on the sale of property on the mainland had affected the property market.

"But we will continue to acquire development sites on the mainland and in Hong Kong if they are in good locations and affordable," Wong said.

Kerry yesterday said underlying profit, excluding a property revaluation gain of HK$2.27 billion, rose 28 per cent to HK$4.7 billion last year, thanks to strong sales in Hong Kong.

Net profit rose 30 per cent to HK$ 6.96 billion from HK$5.35 billion in 2011 on turnover 67 per cent higher at HK$34.51 billion.

The company declared a final dividend of 55 HK cents per share.

Kerry Properties is part of the Kerry Group, the controlling shareholder of the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post.

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