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Shui On posts profit as sales drop

SHUI On Land, developer of Shanghai Xintiandi, a restaurant and bar area in downtown Luwan District, said profit attributable to shareholders rose slightly last year amid a sales decrease.

The earnings attributable to shareholders climbed 1 percent to 2.48 billion yuan (US$363 million) in 2008, while turnover dropped 22 percent to 3.56 billion yuan, the Shanghai-headquartered company, the flagship property developer of the Shui On Group, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement to Shanghai Daily.

Property sales reached 2.94 billion yuan last year when it sold a total of 85,100 square meters against 138,000 square meters sold for 4.09 billion yuan in 2007, the Hong Kong-listed company said.

China's housing market has suffered setbacks since the second half of last year amid slowing economic growth in the country as well as a deteriorating global financial situation. Home sales tumbled in many cities and prices began to decline.

In Shanghai, the transaction volume and sales of new homes both dived more than 40 percent last year, the local statistics bureau said earlier.

But the company said it remains confident despite the current difficulties.

"I have strong confidence in the long-term development of the property market in the Chinese mainland," said Vincent H.S. Lo, chairman and chief executive officer of Shui On Land. "We will continue to look for suitable land for further development and investment opportunities."


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