Stanley Ho firm records earnings of HK$663.9m Shun Tak Holdings, the property-to-shipping group owned by gaming magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun, said full-year profit jumped 82.19 per cent, bolstered by record growth in passenger volume on its ferries between Hong Kong and Macau and strong property sales. Profit soared to HK$663.92 million last year from HK$364.39 million in 2005. Operating profit from transport operations, mainly ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau and the mainland under the trade name of TurboJet, increased 25.9 per cent to HK$236.72 million from HK$187.99 million. TurboJet recorded a 13 per cent increase in passenger volume to 12.5 million. Of these, 11 million travelled the Hong Kong-Macau route, an increase of 13 per cent over 2005 and a high since TurboJet was established in 1999. The company also benefited from strong demand over the Lunar New Year. 'TurboJet again broke its historical records, setting a record-high 317 sailings a day for the Hong Kong-Macau route during the period,' the company said. The previous high was 282 sailings a day during the same holiday period last year. Shun Tak said that in its property business, sales of Nova City phase one, a Macau development in which it has a 25 per cent stake, realised profit of HK$328 million last year. 'Riding on strong demand in the Macau property market, the group's Nova City phases two and three, and One Central Residences, were launched in 2006 and have received overwhelming market responses resulting in strong sales,' it said. Shun Tak said more than 90 per cent of Nova City phase two and 60 per cent of phase three had been sold as of March 31. The company has also sold two blocks of One Central Residences. A spokeswoman said the revenue generated from the sale of Nova City phases two and three plus One Central Residences would be booked in the next two years when construction would have been completed. Profit from investment surged 13.05 per cent, mainly dividend payments from Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM), in which it has a 15.8 per cent stake, to HK$102.11 million from HK$90.32 million. During the year, Shun Tak received HK$108.5 million in dividend from STDM for the year 2005, an increase of 16.3 per cent over 12 months earlier. The company also reported a HK$62.06 million revaluation gain on investment properties, compared with HK$134.48 million a year ago. Turnover rose 0.79 per cent to HK$2.51 billion from HK$2.49 billion in 2005. Operating profit fell 4.39 per cent to HK$581.07 million from HK$607.81 million a year ago as it did not reflect the profit generated from its 25 per cent owned Nova City due to accounting standards. The company increased its final dividend 77.8 per cent to eight HK cents, from 4.5 cents a year ago. Earnings per share rose to 31 HK cents from 17.5 HK cents. Shares in the company rose 1.2 per cent to close at HK$11.78 yesterday.