Wing Tai Properties is confident of maintaining strong earnings growth over the next few years after reporting that net profit jumped more than five times to a record HK$1.913 billion last year.
Executive director and managing director Dennis Au Hing-lun said after netting out property revaluation gains, the company's underlying profit was over HK$400 million last year, up significantly from around HK$10 million in 2009.
'We've already pocketed over HK$1.3 billion from flat sales at two projects, and the revenue will be booked in the coming results,' he said. Au said occupancy rates in the company's office tower Landmark East in Kwun Tong had grown from around 50 per cent last year to over 90 per cent, which would help boost revenue this year. The office space is currently leasing out at over HK$20 per square foot per month.
Income from other investment properties such as the W Square office tower in Wan Chai is expected to grow. The company predicts a 10 to 12 per cent increase in rents this year.
Au said Wing Tai would launch the remaining flats at residential projects Forfar in Kowloon Tong and Seymour in Mid-Levels, which are expected to drive profit and cash flow for this year. It may also put on sale later this year flats in its other three residential projects.
Wing Tai proposed a final dividend of 6.5 HK cents per share. Together with an interim dividend of 3.5 HK cents per share, that gives a total dividend of 10 HK cents, up 82 per cent over a year ago.
Its shares closed at HK$3.30 yesterday, unchanged from Tuesday.