IN ITS first set of results after China Everbright Limited became a strategic investor, Ying Li Real Estate International reported net profit of RMB253.6 million, up 23.6% year-on-year.

YingLi_IFC.7.14Ying Li International has built iconic real estate assets (such as the Yingli IFC, above) in Chongqing, which is the economic centre of Western China and the most populous city in China with 30 million people. Photo: CompanyRevenue grew 61.3% to RMB1 billion.

China Everbright Limited, a state-owned enterprise, became Ying Li's second largest shareholder by subscribing to 381m new shares (14.9% stake) at 26 cents apiece in Sept 2014.

The No. 1 shareholder is
 Fang Ming, the Executive Chairman and CEO of the Ying Li, who holds a direct and indirect interest of 35.95%.

No dividend has been proposed but Ying Li held out the prospect of a scrip dividend.

The Board is "currently reviewing the feasibility of declaring a scrip dividend subject to regulatory, audit and tax clearances. The Board is hopeful of being able to update shareholders at the Company’s coming Annual General Meeting," it said in its FY2014 results statement. 

Arguably, Ying Li is not your ordinary property developer in China. 

Not only has it differentiated itself by attracting China Everbright to come on board, it focuses on urban renewal projects in core CBD areas, and has built a track record in Chongqing in western China. 

And its business results continue to be strong, unlike those of many property developers, especially those which focus on residential properties.

Results highlights:

» Revenue growth in 2014 was mainly driven by the handover of completed units at the Ying Li International Plaza project and the full year contribution of rental income from the Ying Li International Plaza retail mall.

» Selling expenses increased to RMB56.2 million (up 48.0% year-on-year), boosted by an increase in property management fees and utility expenses incurred from the full year operation of the  retail mall. 

» Interest expenses dropped 24.7% to RMB68.5 million, mainly due to the capitalization of interest expenses associated with the construction of the Ying Li Chongqing Financial Street and the San Ya Wan Phase 2 projects. 

» Available for sale assets: Valued at RMB500m, this investment in the Beijing Tongzhou project is Ying Li's first outside of Chongqing.

» Debt: Yi Ling has RMB3.1 billion in debt with a weighted average cost of debt at 7.34% per annum.  Cash and cash equivalents stood at RMB 965.1m at end-2014.

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