PROPERTY gains have boosted the interim performance of China Overseas Land and Investment, a mainland-backed property and construction firm, which posted a 39 per cent rise in net profit to $481.65 million for the six months ended June. The figure included pre-tax profit of $449.14 million, sharing the company's 25 per cent stake in an office building in Des Voeux Road West. Stripping off the gains from the associated company, China Overseas Land suffered a 70 per cent plunge in operating profit to $124.43 million. In the period under review, its turnover rose 13 per cent to $1.08 billion. Earnings per share were 14.7 cents, with an interim dividend of 3.9 cents proposed. Chairman Sun Wenjie said that the property division accounted for 90 per cent of China Overseas Land's profit in the first half, with the remainder coming from construction operations. He said the company's full-year profit would be bolstered by property development profits because the profit margin of the construction business remained low. In the second half of the year, China Overseas Land expects to consolidate the development profits from a residential project at Fanling's Union Plaza, commercial and residential projects at Haibin Plaza and the Marine Products Building in Shenzhen. Union Plaza brought in income of slightly more than $1 billion from the sale of residential units which will be included in the profit and loss account for the second half of the year. The property was let for occupancy last month. The company will also share 25 per cent of the contribution from the sale of commercial spaces in the Des Voeux Road West project which will make a net profit of about $300 million.