Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Martin Hennecke

MTRC profit dips to $7b
MTR Corporation's (0066) net profit dipped 5.31 percent to HK$7.08 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2018 as its mainland development projects did not perform as well as in the same period last year. Earning per share amounted to HK$1.18 and an interim dividend of 25 HK cents was declared. Profit from property development in Hong Kong during the period slumped to HK$158 million, down 74.60 percent from the first half of 2017 when higher agency fees and further surplus proceeds arising from the finalization of some development projects were recognized, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Construction of the shopping center in Lohas Park is expected to be completed by the end of 2020 while the one in Tai Wai should be completed by the end of 2022, it added. Besides, tenders for developments of Ho Man Tin phase two and Lohas Park phase 11 are scheduled to be commenced in the coming six months, according to the filing. Total revenue was HK$26.37 billion, falling 12.1 percent year on year. There was no income recorded from property development in the mainland, which in the same period last year was HK$6.84 billion. One of its projects in the country, Tiara in Shenzhen, would see its 10,000-square-meters retail center opening at the end of this year if it gets approval from the Shenzhen government, while 98 percent of its residential units have been sold and handed over. The public transport operator is to keep expanding on the mainland by signing an agreement with Chengdu Rail Transit Group for potential project co-development in the city, while in Hangzhou it is seeking a "third metro opportunity". Its business in Europe, where operating costs soared, would remain challenging, according to chief executive officer Lincoln Leong Kwok-kuen. Last month, the company submitted a bid for the West Coast Partnership in the United Kingdom. The share price of MTRC lost 1.80 percent to HK$40.95 yesterday, the lowest level since March 2018, following the construction scandal.

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