An exceptional gain from the sale of a stake in a prime office building led Ryoden Development to report 1995 net profits of $541.09 million, up 90.3 per cent from $284.29 million a year ago. At operating level, the property developer and trader suffered a sharp drop in earnings to $128.84 million, down 68.78 per cent from $412.78 million in 1994. The company said the sale of an effective 5 per cent stake in 78-storey Central Plaza in Wan Chai, Hong Kong's tallest building, would help it to enhance its recurrent rental income through other acquisitions. Ryoden earned $453.38 million from the sale. Earnings per share were 53.41 cents, on a fully diluted basis, compared with 28.69 cents in the last corresponding period. A final dividend of 10 cents a share will be paid, taking the year's total payout to 14 cents a share. Turnover for the year was $700.14 million, down 16.6 per cent from $839.72 million in 1994. Profit margins were squeezed to 16.6 per cent, from 49.15 per cent previously. Chairman Hu Fa-kuang said the territory's property prices continued to drift lower during the first three quarters of last year with low levels of property transactions recorded. This was crimped by a downturn in the economy, which took its toll on the retail and property market.