Shares in property developer Emperor International Holdings surged yesterday after the company said it swung to a net profit of HK$1.23 billion in the six months ended September 30 from the year-earlier period. Revenue quadrupled to HK$638.58 million after the firm booked income from pre-sales of a residential project in the coastal city of Xiamen, where 98 per cent of 284 units at its 440,000 square metre development has been sold as of this month. Emperor's leasing arm saw turnover climb 18.3 per cent to HK$158.33 million on rising rents and a strong occupancy rate of 97 per cent. The company owns a series of commercial and office buildings in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Kowloon, and last month announced the purchase of a three-storey shopping centre in North Point called Fitfort for HK$935 million. Still, the profit turnaround was mainly driven by a property revaluation gain of HK$1.18 billion, compared with a valuation loss of HK$941.4 million a year earlier. Shares rose 7.1 per cent to close at HK$1.82 yesterday after the results. Meanwhile, sister firm Emperor Entertainment Hotel, the Macau casino hotel operator, saw interim net profit soar 195 per cent to HK$51.28 million from HK$17.37 million a year ago. Fair value changes in investment properties were responsible for the profit rise, offsetting a 3.4 per cent slide in revenue to HK$417.68 million amid declining VIP gambling volumes. Attributable revenue from mass-market gaming climbed 35 per cent from a year ago to HK$189.9 million, but VIP revenue fell 21.5 per cent to HK$132.8 million. Slot machine revenue recognised by the group fell 15.5 per cent to HK$16.4 million. The hotel firm, 56 per cent owned by Emperor, has a 60 per cent stake in Macau's Grand Emperor Hotel and receives a 42 per cent to 45 per cent share of winnings from the attached casino, which operates under the gaming licence of SJM Holdings. Emperor Entertainment declared an interim dividend of 2.5 HK cents, up from last year's full-year payout of 1.8 HK cents. The shares rose 3.37 per cent after the earnings announcement to close at 92 HK cents each.