Soho China, a Beijing commercial property developer, has posted a more than 477 per cent rise in net profit, exceeding the forecast it made when it listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in October last year. Net profit for the year to December was 1.96 billion yuan (HK$2.15 billion), 20.98 per cent higher than the 1.62 billion yuan profit it forecast in the listing prospectus. Turnover increased nearly four-fold to 6.95 billion yuan from 1.74 billion yuan a year ago. The developer proposed a final dividend of 10 fen per share. With Beijing's austerity measures mainly targeting the residential market, the firm - which focuses on commercial buildings - managed to sell its projects at higher prices. It said the average selling price rose to 24,441 yuan per square metre, up about 20 per cent from 20,403 yuan in 2006. 'In 2007, the market in Beijing continued its rapid growth as demand for high-end properties remained strong,' Soho China said. Net margin improved to 28 per cent from 20 per cent in 2006. The firm has a loan balance of two billion yuan and a gearing of 8.5 per cent as of December last year. It bought two properties in central Beijing for a combined 2.43 billion yuan last year. They are the high-end Beijing Soho Residences for 1.41 billion yuan and another at Guanghualu for 1.02 billion yuan.