China Overseas Land’s Q1 operating profit rises to $1 bln | Reuters


HONG KONG, April 21 State-owned property
developer China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd said on
Friday its operating profit in the first quarter rose to HK$7.8
billion ($1 billion).

Operating profit for the Jan-March period a year earlier was
HK$7.1 billion, before restating for CITIC Ltd’s
residential property business acquired last year.

Unaudited revenue was HK$27.4 billion for the first quarter
of this year, compared with HK$24.7 a year earlier, before

Due to an acquisition of 15 land parcels during the
three-month period, the company’s cash on hand dropped 13.3
percent to HK$136.18 billion from the end of 2016, it said in a

That resulted in an increase in net gearing ratio to 13.3
percent, which was still well below industry average.

Referring to the increased property tightening policies by
the central government, China Overseas Land said the policies
were “beneficial to the long term healthy development of the
industry and will lead to market consolidation in an accelerated

“It is expected that the China property sector can maintain
steady development in 2017,” the company added.

Home prices in China accelerated in March on a monthly basis
with a 0.6 percent rise from February, shaking off the impact of
recent cooling measures introduced to dampen speculative demand.

Shares of China Overseas Land closed down 0.7 percent ahead
of the results. Hang Seng Index was flat.

Company chairman Xiao Xiao said last month he was cautiously
optimistic about China’s overall property market in 2017, which
was expected to see some resistance in sales in the first half.

($1 = 7.7757 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)