PALIBURG International Holdings has reported a $215 million increase in profits over its interim result to $1.23 billion for all of last year as the dramatic slowdown in the property market took its toll. At the interim stage, the company had turned in an attributable profit of $1.01 billion. The company made $1.13 billion in 1993. Company officials said profit in the second half came from a strong performance by the hotel arm and rental income. Underscoring the downturn in the property market, a company official said subsidiary Paliburg Development had sold no buildings in the last six months of the year. However, chairman and managing director Lo Yuk-sui said: 'Overall, it has been a very successful year for the company and for the group.' He said Paliburg International had made an overall increase of about 10 per cent in profits, while Regal Hotels International Holdings chalked up a 21 per cent increase and Paliburg Development recorded a rise of about 30 per cent in net profits for the year. Mr Lo said that all things considered, the hotels performed well during the year. 'Last year we had the ban on China travel from Taiwan which hurt Hong Kong,' he said. But the hotel operations were aided by an overall increase in tourist numbers and a rise in occupancy rates. Earnings per share for the year were 68.2 cents against 63.1 cents in 1993. Directors have recommended a final dividend of nine cents per share, compared with 8.4 cents previously. They said this would be in the form of a scrip dividend with a cash option, payable to shareholders on June 16. Together with the interim dividend of three cents and a special interim dividend of five cents a share, the total for the year would be 17 cents, up 65 per cent over 1993. The scrip dividend proposal is subject to listing approval. The market value of the shares to be issued would be the average of the closing prices of the shares for the five consecutive trading days ending June 16. Analysts noted that Paliburg International's results fell slightly on the high side of most predictions contained in the Estimate Directory. They attributed the company's slack results during the second half to the slowdown in the property market. According to one company official, the second-half result was low because the market 'was off'. 'The price just kept going down and things were not as good as the first half,' she said. Of a total pre-tax profit of $1.75 billion, the company said $400 million came from the Regal hotel chain. A further $400 million came from Paliburg Development. An additional $700 million came from the sale of a 50 per cent interest in a joint-venture property in Central. The company said the office floors of Paliburg Plaza in Causeway Bay remained almost fully let throughout the year and the shopping arcade was more than 90 per cent occupied. Mr Lo said Kowloon City Plaza in Kowloon City enjoyed a year-round occupancy of almost 100 per cent, with progressive improvements being achieved in rental rates and tenant mix on tenancy reversions. Paliburg International's leasing activities would continue to generate significant income for the group, Mr Lo said, and the company planned to develop or acquire additional properties for investment to enhance the recurring income base. Mr Lo also said the hotels operation would also continue to play a significant role in the company's overall strategy. 'Based on the projected overall supply and demand of hotel rooms, the four Regal Hotels in Hong Kong are expected to turn in further improved results during the years ahead,' he said.