China Overseas Land says H1 core profits up 9 pct

HONG KONG Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:28am EDT

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HONG KONG Aug 10 (Reuters) - China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd, the mainland's largest home builder by market value, reported on Friday a 9.3 percent rise in first-half core profit, a little lower than expected, but the company booked str o nger sales than its peers amid a property slowdown.

The company, which focuses on mid- to high-end property, posted a net profit of HK$8.38 billion ($1.08 billion), and earnings per share of HK102.6 cents.

Core profit for the period was HK$6.36 billion. Four analysts polled by Reuters forecast an average 16.3 percent rise in interim core profit to HK$6.71 billion.

First-half revenue totalled HK$25.3 billion, with the luxury home builder benefiting from customers gravitating towards developers with better-brand names during the industry slowdown.

The company revised its full-year sales target to HK$100 billion, up from HK$80 billion.

The company declared a dividend of 15 cents per share, up 15 percent, and a special dividend of 2 cents per share to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its stock listing. ($1 = 7.7556 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Alex Frew McMillan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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