Portfolio valuation, Covid impact leads to Hongkong Land's US$1.8b H1 net loss

PROPERTY developer and investment company Hongkong Land on Wednesday announced that it made a net loss of US$1.8 billion in its first half ended June 30, compared to a net profit of US$411 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to net non-cash losses of US$2.18 billion arising from the bi-annual revaluation of the group’s investment properties, due to lower open-market rents.

Underlying profit attributable to shareholders, which the group said better reflects its ongoing business performance, fell 24 per cent to US$353 million, due to a lower contribution from its investment properties because of pandemic-related retail rent relief, and a lower contribution from development properties as a result of fewer residential completions taking place.

Company chairman Ben Keswick said: “While second-half underlying profits are expected to benefit from higher development properties completions on the Chinese mainland than in the first half, uncertainty remains about the duration of the pandemic and the effect it will have on the group’s full-year results."  

Some completions originally scheduled for this year will be delayed until next year as a result of construction delays caused by the pandemic. 

For its development business in Singapore, the profit contribution in the first half was lower than a year ago, as sales galleries and construction activities were suspended for two months as a result of the pandemic.

It said: "The 309-unit Margaret Ville is 92 per cent pre-sold, while pre-sales at the 1,404-unit Parc Esta and the 638-unit Leedon Green projects have performed well under current market conditions.

"The group’s attributable interest in contracted sales was US$301 million in the first half of 2020, compared to US$255 million and US$414 million in the first and second halves of 2019, respectively," it said.

The directors have declared an unchanged interim dividend of 6 US cents per share.