Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Martin Hennecke

Hang Lung optimistic amid $2.5b loss
Hang Lung Properties (0101) recorded a net loss of HK$2.54 billion in the first half, compared to a net profit of HK$3.52 billion in the same period last year, but the company expects its mainland properties to fully recover by the end of the third quarter. "I have been in this industry for over 40 years but have not seen any situation like this," said chairman Ronnie Chan Chi-chung. "The pandemic, the 'riot' in Hong Kong last year and an all-out cold war between China and the United States are disadvantages to our businesses," Chan said. "For the time being I have not fully understood the situation in Hong Kong. Nobody knows if it will become worse after the third wave of infections." The luxury goods market in the mainland is encouraging, with major luxury brands rushing to open branches there, Chan said. He stressed there is no plan to privatize the company. Underlying net profit fell in the first six months by 11 percent year-on-year to HK$1.99 billion. First-half revenue dropped 0.47 percent year-on-year to HK$4.18 billion. The basic loss per share was HK$0.56. Hang Lung Properties declared an interim dividend of HK17 cents per share. Operating profit of property leasing in Hong Kong fell by 10 percent year-on-year to HK$1.56 billion. Hang Lung estimates construction of its Wuhan Heartland 66 would be delayed for four months due to the pandemic, but nearly 60 percent of the commercial complex has been pre-leased, said Adriel Chan, executive director of Hang Lung Properties. Wuhan Heartland 66 will have a mall, a Grade A office tower and serviced apartments for sale. The first group of office tenants will take possession in November. The mall is to open in the first half next year, said chief executive Weber Lo.

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