Updated at 6.45pm: Hong Kong property developer New World Development on Thursday reported a $2.99 billion net profit for the year to June, boosted by an improving property market and asset sales by the company's infrastructure arm. The company reported a $976 million loss for the previous year. New World Development said it was able to report a profit this year because subsidiary NWS Holdings reaped $1.8 billion by selling container terminals and other assets. Turnover fell 13.3 per cent to $22.2 billion for the year - from $25.6 billion previously. The company announced a final dividend of 20 cents, up from just 4c last year. New World Development said in a statement that it expected to benefit in future from stronger property markets. 'The group is optimistic about the mainland property market,' it said. 'Urbanisation and a growing economy are driving housing demand [in China]. Rising average household incomes and middle class [affluence] have improved affordability.' However, shares in the company fell 3.94 per cent to HK$9.75 on the Hong Kong stock exchange.