Lai Sun mulls bid for hotel site at Ocean Park

Developer also looking into tender for two lots of government land to house local residents

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 March, 2013, 4:16am

Lai Sun Development is considering whether to bid for a hotel site tendered by Ocean Park and for the first two government residential sites under the Hong Kong Property for Hong Kong People scheme.

"As a mid-sized developer, we hope to put one or two projects out on the market every year. Therefore, we keep looking at investment opportunities," Lai Sun Development chief executive Julius Lau Shu-yan said.

His comments came after the company announced a 18.06 per cent drop in underlying profit, excluding property revaluation gains, to HK$117.9 million for the six months to January 31.

Earnings per share, excluding property revaluation, was HK$0.006, against HK$0.009 for the same period a year earlier. No interim dividend was declared.

Net profit, including property revaluation, rose 494 per cent to HK$1.96 billion. The company said the recent cooling measures in the property market had affected sales of its Ocean One residential development in Yau Tong, but its rental portfolio performed well, with turnover rising about 10 per cent to HK$214.8 million.

Deputy chairman Chew Fook Aun said the company would continue to expand its rental portfolio and look for land acquisition opportunities.

Ocean Park has put out a tender for its planned 495-room Ocean Hotel. The tender closes on April 8.

Lai Sun is also interested in bidding for the two sites under the Hong Kong Property for Hong Kong People scheme that aims to help permanent residents become homeowners.

The government has invited tenders for the two sites in Kai Tak. The Lands Department said it would accept bids for the sites until May 31.

Meanwhile, parent Lai Sun Garment reported that its underlying profits, excluding property revaluation gains, increased 84 per cent to HK$146.1 million in the six months. No interim dividend was announced.

The group's mainland arm, Lai Fung Holdings, saw underlying profits rise 43 per cent to HK$107.6 million. eSun Holdings, a sister concern of Lai Sun Development, meanwhile, said its net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed from HK$58.8 million to HK$28.9 million.