China Overseas aims for HK$100b in property sales for 2013

Developer says sales target is 'conservative' despite Beijing's market-cooling measures

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 March, 2013, 4:18am

China Overseas Land & Investment, one of the biggest developers on the mainland, is aiming for sales this year of at least HK$100 billion.

Chairman Kong Qingping described it as a conservative forecast, as the target has taken into account unfavourable circumstances the market could face.

Kong spoke to reporters as the company announced a 21.1 per cent jump in net profit last year to HK$18.72 billion, or HK$2.29 a share, up from a restated HK$15.46 billion, or HK$1.89 a share, a year earlier.

China Overseas said its core profit, excluding property revaluation, climbed 21.4 per cent to HK$15.8 billion. Turnover rose 25.8 per cent to HK$64.58 billion.

The board declared a final dividend of 24 HK cents a share, bringing the full-year dividend to 41 HK cents, an increase of 8 HK cents.

Kong said the central government would continue to adopt a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy in order to curb inflation.

The launch of five market-cooling measures by the State Council early this month meant that tough measures were likely to remain in place for some time, he said.

He said China Overseas would watch closely for risks and opportunities.

Looking ahead, Kong said: "As the property market is an effective driver of the mainland's economic activity, it is expected that the government may implement fiscal and tax reform in lieu of administrative means to get the market back on track."

The company said it would enter three or four new cities this year and replenish its land reserve by at least 8 million square metres in gross floor area.

At the end of last year, the company had a land reserve of about 35.1 million sq metres in 26 mainland cities, Hong Kong and Macau.

The firm, excluding its listed associate China Overseas Grand Oceans, has acquired three parcels of land in three mainland cities this year.

Kong said the property markets in Hong Kong and Macau would undergo some short-term adjustments in response to increases in the types and rate of stamp duty.