Sun Hung Kai Properties (0016) reported a 17.1 percent jump in full-year underlying profit yesterday, but said it expected external uncertainty and government measures to pose new challenges for the local housing market.
Higher contributions from property sales and rental income buoyed SHKP, which raked in an underlying profit of HK$30.40 billion in the year ended June 30, compared with HK$25.97 billion the previous year.
The underlying profit excludes the net effect of changes in the valuation of investment properties. The reported figure matched an average forecast of HK$29.74 billion by 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters Smart Estimates.
The company will pay a final dividend of HK$3.45 per share. Together with the interim dividend of HK$1.20 per share, the dividend for the full year will be HK$4.65 per share, an increase of 13.4 percent from last year.
Revenue of the company amounted to HK$85.64 billion, up from HK$78.2 billion. Underlying earnings per share were HK$10.49, compared to HK$8.97 last year.
Hong Kong's private home prices have shattered records month after month for nearly two years, but chairman and managing director Raymond Kwok Ping-luen warned of upcoming headwinds.
"External uncertainty and government measures recently introduced are likely to pose new challenges in the first-hand market," Kwok said in a statement filed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The Hong Kong government proposed a vacancy tax on empty new homes in late June to discourage developers from hoarding. Despite anticipated rate hikes, Kwok said he expected household income gains and wealth accumulation to continue to underpin end-user demand for residential properties.
Property sales for the year, including share of joint ventures, stood at HK$16.26 billion, increased by 36.5 percent.
The company said property sales in Hong Kong recorded both revenue growth and higher profit margins for the year.
During the year, the Group added five projects to its land bank through different means with a total gross floor area of about 6.8 million square feet. This includes the Shap Sz Heung project, which arose from the conversion of agricultural land.
It said it will continue to convert its agricultural land, which amounted to about 32 million square feet, into buildable land.
It will also develop the Kai Tak site acquired in May into a landmark residential and commercial complex, in which the commercial portion and part of the residential floor area will be retained for rental purpose.
Meanwhile, Kwok said his elder brother Walter Kwok Ping-sheung, the former chairman of SHKP, is in stable condition in the hospital, after his wife confirmed that the tycoon had a stroke earlier this month.
The elder Kwok, fell unconscious in his mansion at Deep Water Bay and is undergoing specialist observation and treatment at the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital.