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Hongkong Land full-year 2018 earnings rise 9% to US$1.04b

HONGKONG Land, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, saw full-year earnings rise in 2018, boosted by higher property rents and its property development business in China and Singapore. 

Underlying profit attributable to shareholders hit US$1.04 billion in 2018, up 9 per cent from US$947 million in 2017.

The group said its investment properties, which are concentrated in Hong Kong and Singapore and form the largest contributor to the group's earnings, benefited from higher overall average rents. In addition, its development properties saw higher profits in Singapore, while profits from mainland China were steady. 

Underlying earnings per share stood at 44.24 US cents, up from 40.24 US cents in the previous year. Net asset value per share increased to US$16.43 as at Dec 31 from US$15.66 in the year-ago period. 

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The directors are recommending a final dividend of 16 US cents per share. This gives a total dividend of 22 US cents for the year, versus 20 US cents for 2017.

On the outlook for this year, chairman Ben Keswick said the profit contribution from the group's investment properties is expected to remain stable.

However, for the development properties business, he is expecting higher profits from China - as more projects get completed - to be offset by lower contributions from other markets.

Hongkong Land shares finished at US$7.17, down 1.24 per cent or US$0.09, before the results were released.