Hotel business and property leasing operations help drive growth for group Miramar Hotel & Investment has unveiled a mainland investment spree after posting a 38.2 per cent jump in net profit to $1.16 billion for the year to March. The company, a subsidiary of Henderson Land Development, was scouting for management contracts and hotels in the mainland, sources said. The move is in line with Henderson's mainland strategy, and it has reserves of at least $30 billion for acquisitions in China. While Miramar's hotel and property leasing units were the growth drivers last year, the results also included a non-recurring gain of $150 million from the sale of land lots in California and valuation surpluses on property assets under Hong Kong's new accounting rules. Turnover grew 22 per cent to $1.66 billion. Earnings per share increased 38 per cent to $2.03. The final dividend was raised 9 per cent to 24 cents per share, boosting the full-year payout 5.4 per cent higher to 39 cents per share. Profits from continuing operations ballooned 42.1 per cent to $1.54 billion, due largely to the strength of Hong Kong's economy and a record number of tourists. The company's flagship hotel, the 525-room four-star Hotel Miramar on Nathan Road, has had an average 90 per cent occupancy rate over the year despite increased competition from new hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui. Thanks to the return of long-haul business travellers from Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States, the hotel's room rate has increased 19 per cent. Miramar posted stable contributions from its seven hotel and service flat projects in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Company chairman Lee Shau-kee did not give details about its hotel expansion plans in the mainland. Hong Kong's buoyant economy also spurred sales growth at the firm's 24 restaurants in Hong Kong and the mainland. Hotel Miramar's nearby shopping arcade leased 91 per cent of its retail space last year. The company said it planned to renovate the arcade to bring in more shoppers and fend off competition. The stock yesterday rose 2.43 per cent to close at $10.50.