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Singapore's CapitaLand Quarter Profit Up Near Sixfold

CapitaLand, Southeast Asia's biggest developer, on Tuesday posted a nearly six-fold surge in second-quarter net profit on the back of strong home sales in Singapore and China.

Like Singapore's other big property developers -- Keppel Land and City Developments -- CapitaLand has benefitted from a surge in prices in the city-state's real estate market.

Office rents have risen 46% in the past 12 months in Singapore, beating increases in rival financial centres such as Tokyo and Hong Kong, while prices for private homes have risen to the highest level in nearly a decade.

The firm, partly owned by Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings, saw its net profit rise to its highest ever of S$912.6 million (US$603.2 million) in the April-June quarter, up from a restated S$157.2 million in the same period a year ago.

"The exceptional performance was achieved on the back of fair value gains in respect of the investment properties portfolio, higher profits from development projects and higher portfolio gains," it said in a statement.

Quarterly revenue rose 21 percent to S$935.6 million.

CapitaLand has in the past earned up to 80% of its profits abroad, but Singapore accounted for 69% of its pre-tax profit in the first half of 2007.

The developer said divestment gains as well as higher fee income from its real estate investment trust (REIT) subsidiaries -- CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust and CapitaRetail China -- also contributed to its highest ever quarterly net profit.

CapitaLand, which earned S$1.5 billion net profit in the first half, said its finance costs rose 32% in the second quarter mainly due to higher gross debt and rising interest rates.

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