HONG KONG Feb 28 Developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, owned by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, posted a better-than-expected 10 percent rise in 2013 net profit as asset disposal gains and a stronger contribution from Hutchison Whampoa Ltd offset weak flat sales.
Net profit for the year totaled HK$35.26 billion ($4.5 billion), up from a revised HK$32.04 billion in 2012, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday. The result was better than the average forecast for a net profit of HK$28.24 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Cheung Kong, the city's second-largest property developer after Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd, recorded contract sales of HK$6.6 billion in Hong Kong for 2013, less than a quarter of its annual sales target and 75 percent lower than a year before, according to BNP Paribas property analyst Patrick Wong.
Hong Kong, where property prices are among the most expensive in the world, has imposed a series of tightening steps since October 2009, such as higher taxes on foreigners, increased stamp duties, mortgage restrictions and duties on quick resales.
Shares in the company fell 0.3 percent on Friday morning prior to the results, in line with a 0.3 percent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
($1 = 7.7601 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting By Yimou Lee; Editing by Matt Driskill)