Wheelock and Co, the holding company of conglomerate Wharf (Holdings) and property concern New Asia Realty and Trust, said it earned $2.3 billion for the year to March, up sharply from $34.7 million in the previous year. The swing factor was a write-back of provisions of $40 million, compared with provisions of $2.42 billion in the previous business year, the company said. The improvement reflects the increased profit contribution largely from the sale of residential units at Sorrento in Kowloon Station and Parc Palais in King's Park Rise. Property sales for the year reached $6.52 billion, derived mostly from the Sorrento, Bellagio in Sham Tseng and Grange Residences in Singapore. Wheelock will pay a final dividend of 6.5 cents a share, against five cents previously. The company's stock fell 2.06 per cent to close at $9.50 yesterday.