Gungzhou R&F Properties recorded a 90 per cent slump in first-half profit owing to fewer completions and the write-off of a deposit paid for a site. The net profit of the largest developer in Guangdong fell to 160 million yuan (HK$181.52 million) from 1.56 billion yuan a year earlier. It was mainly a result of the company completing only 418,300 square metres of development in the first six months, just 20 per cent of the full-year target. The profit was also affected by the write-off of a 241.2 million yuan deposit paid for a site in Foshan following the cancellation of the land use rights contract. Chairman Li Sze-lim (right) said yesterday the decision not to develop the site was because of the financial crisis and the fact that it would have put 'strong pressure' on the company if it had to put all its resources into the site, 70 per cent of which was earmarked for commercial use. The company is also involved in the non-completion of purchase of a development site in Baiyan district in Guangzhou, acquired in 2007. Mr Li said the firm was still waiting to hear from the government about the land resumption. R&F's turnover rose 11 per cent to 4.66 billion yuan in the first half. Revenue from property sales grew 9.2 per cent to 4.28 billion yuan. Despite the total sales area increasing 12.4 per cent to 418,000 sqmetres in the period, the average selling price dropped 2.9 per cent to 10,200 yuan per square metre. Net profit margin fell to 9.5 per cent from 15.3 per cent. The developer generated 14.58 billion yuan from contracted sales of 1.51 million sqmetres in the first half, 61 per cent of its contracted sales target of 2.48 million sqmetres for the year. As a total saleable area of about 2.9 million sqmetres worth about 33 billion yuan will be ready for sale in the second half, R&F has raised its full-year contracted sales target to 23 billion yuan from 22 billion yuan. The company's net gearing ratio fell to 110.3 per cent from 123.8 per cent at the end of last year. It did not declare an interim dividend. Shares in R&F rose 0.66 per cent to close at HK$15.14 yesterday.