Wing Tai Properties posts HK$485.7m H1 net loss

Janice Heng
Published Fri, Aug 28, 2020 · 11:20 AM

WING Tai Properties, the Hong Kong associate of Singapore-listed Wing Tai Holdings, has reported a net loss of HK$485.7 million (S$85.2 million) for the six months ended June 30 - compared with a HK$212.2 million net profit in the year-ago period.

This is despite its revenue more than quadrupling to HK$1.96 billion from HK$423.9 million in the year-ago period.

A filing in the Singapore Exchange on Friday, made after the market close, indicated that the core consolidated profit attributable to shareholders - which excludes change in fair value on investment properties and financial instruments - was HK$287 million, up from HK$239 million in the year-ago period.

Loss per share was HK$0.36, compared to earnings per share of HK$0.16 in the year-ago period.

An interim dividend of HK$0.06 per share was recommended, the same as a year ago.

Hong Kong's residential property market, already weakened from unrest last year, received another blow from the Covid-19 pandemic, said Wing Tai Properties.

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Still, launches have been "well-received by the market", with around 93 per cent of wholly-owned project The Carmel having been sold, and over 83 per cent of wholly-owned project OMA OMA having been pre-sold.

It said: "While the group will monitor the development of the residential property market in Hong Kong, we believe the pent-up demand of local first-time home buyers and low interest rates will form a stable support level for the residential property market."

The leasing market for corporate tenants in Hong Kong and London has also been hit by the pandemic, as has the hospitality sector. Wing Tai Properties expects the commercial properties to continue providing steady recurring income and cash flows, but lease renewal, occupancy and rentals will be under pressure. Hotel operations are expected to remain weak until the pandemic is under control.

Wing Tai Properties said: "The uncertain outlook on the pandemic and economic recovery in the near term may further affect the valuation of our investment properties towards the end of 2020, and may make a further impact on full-year reporting profit, despite their having no cash-flow impact on our financials."

The pandemic's impact on business performance and cash flow "will be a critical factor to consider when recommending the 2020 final dividend payment", said Wing Tai Properties chairman Christopher Cheng.

Wing Tai Holdings' shares closed up 1 Singapore cent or 0.59 per cent at S$1.71 on Friday before the news.

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