Paliburg Holdings plans to build the tallest skyscraper in Beijing as part of the once-troubled developer's ambitious plan to seek new earnings growth on the mainland. The company, controlled by Lo Yuk-sui, will scrap approved plans for a 200-metre twin-tower residential-hotel-office complex in the Chaoyang district, and will instead embark on a 300-metre, 80-storey single tower that will contain the same components. Total investment for the project will rise to more than $5 billion from an original budget of about $4 billion. Paliburg, which jointly owns a 59 per cent stake of the project with its hotel arm Regal Hotels International Holdings, will be responsible for extra investments in proportion with its mainland partners. The funds will come from internal resources. 'This will be the flagship development for our expansion into China,' Mr Lo said while announcing the group's annual results. 'We don't have the opportunity of building such a mega project in Hong Kong.' Under its revised plan, the project would comprise about two million square feet of hotel and office space, about 1.26 million sqft of commercial space and 750,000 sqft of residential space, he said. He said the project would be completed by 2009 at the earliest. However, Paliburg has not yet gained regulatory approval for its new plan, and has only secured 65 per cent, or 280,833 square metres, of the land rights for the site. Meanwhile, the firm put its Macau hotel project on the backburner amid the surge in new hotel supply in the enclave and increasing construction costs, Mr Lo said. 'We are cautious about the prospects for the proposed development because there are so many new hotels to be completed in the years to come. Unlike other operators, we don't have any casinos in the project to subsidise the hotel operations,' he said. Last year, Regal pulled out of a partnership arrangement with Las Vegas-based Venetian Group to go it alone on the proposed 3.4 million square foot hotel project, which was still awaiting land approval. Mr Lo said business at Paliburg, which ran into hefty debts after the Asian financial crisis, had got back on track. The firm posted net profit of $517.5 million, or earnings per share of 7.18 cents, for last year, against a net loss of $31.3 million in the previous year. Its growth was mainly attributed to a $91.8 million non-core income and a $63 million provision write-back. A final dividend of 0.2 cent was declared. Regal Hotels, 50.16 per cent owned by Paliburg, posted 43.6 per cent growth in net profit to $528.4 million, or 6.3 cents per share. A final dividend of 0.55 cent per share was declared. However, parent company Century City International Holdings, which holds a 55 per cent stake in Paliburg, saw a 35.37 per cent drop in its earnings to $270.9 million, or 1.86 cents per share. A final dividend of 0.05 cent was declared.