* Total sales this yr projected at HK$41 bln vs HK$52.4 bln last yr
* Total contracted sales up 29 pct last yr to record HK$52.4 bln
* Full-yr underlying profit up 7.4 pct to HK$25.97 bln (Adds details of results, comments by executives)
By Venus Wu
HONG KONG, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Sun Hung Kai Properties posted a 29 percent jump in full-year contracted sales value to a record as demand for new apartments boomed, but Hong Kong’s most valuable developer indicated that sales in the current year would taper off.
Total contracted sales hit HK$52.4 billion ($6.71 billion) in the year that ended June 30, versus the previous record high of HK$40.7 billion clocked in the last financial year.
“Sales in the primary market have been encouraging with record sales values for the year to date,” chairman and managing director Raymond Kwok said in a statement on Thursday.
“While the supply of new projects has been increasing, the government’s stringent restrictive measures continued to constrain activities in the residential market, especially in the secondary market.”
Hong Kong, one of the world’s most expensive property markets, has seen private home prices rise for 16 consecutive months, though the pace of growth has slowed recently.
Sun Hung Kai Properties, which saw contracted sales of HK$44 billion in Hong Kong in the last fiscal year, is setting its local sales target at HK$36 billion for the fiscal year 2017-18, deputy managing director Victor Lui told reporters at a briefing.
“In the last fiscal year, the property sales situation was very satisfactory, you could even say it was an outstanding year ... The sales figures this year may not be able to match last year‘s, but we are still very confident in achieving HK$36 billion,” Lui said.
A company spokeswoman said the current year’s target for total sales was HK$41 billion.
In mainland China, the group recorded contracted sales of 6.8 billion yuan ($1.04 billion) for the year ended June.
Kwok said in the statement “the mainland residential market has cooled off with prices being reined in and transaction volumes reduced due to effective regulatory measures”, but added these measures should help sustain a healthy housing market over the medium-to-long term.
The gradual completion of “key” cross-border infrastructure projects, such as the southern Chinese strategic development zone called the Greater Bay Area, should also be conducive to the demand for residential projects, he added.
Almost 40 percent of the company’s mainland Chinese land bank is located in satellite cities within the Greater Bay Area, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Praveen Choudhary wrote in a research note on Tuesday.
Sun Hung Kai Properties’ underlying profit for the year ended June rose 7.4 percent to HK$25.97 billion, the company said. Underlying profit excludes the net effect of changes in investment properties’ valuation.
Shares of Sun Hung Kai Properties, which has a market value of HK$391.9 billion, closed 1.1 percent lower ahead of the results, compared to the benchmark Hang Seng Index’s 0.42 percent drop.
The company’s shares have surged 38.06 percent this year, versus the benchmark’s 26.26 percent gain. ($1 = 6.5559 Chinese yuan renminbi) ($1 = 7.8116 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Venus Wu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)