New World Development (NWD) is seeing the fruits of its digital experiments to overcome the Covid-19 crisis after scoring substantial sales from online channels while footfall and tourist arrivals suffered amid lockdown and travel restrictions.
The Hong Kong developer has generated more than HK$10.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) in retail revenue from its network of shopping centres in the city and property projects in mainland China since March. The amount included HK$300 million from its flagship mall in Tsim Sha Tsui and 9 billion yuan (US$1.32 billion) from its Shenzhen Prince Bay housing project in Shekou.
“If you react quickly, Covid-19 opens up new business opportunities that will put you in a much better position when it eventually subsides,” executive vice-chairman Adrian Cheng Chi-kong said during a financial results briefing on Wednesday. “We cannot control the virus, but we can control our reaction time to new measures and the changing habits of our customers. “Speed and decisiveness is everything.”
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To boost retail sales for its mall tenants, NWD is cooperating with them through live-streaming and other online promotions for all 12 of its K11 malls in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Its K11 Musea flagship in Tsim Sha Tsui has generated more than HK$300 million of sales within 10 days this month after an aggressive digital promotion. The mall achieved a 35 per cent jump in sales in the second quarter while the broader industry slumped, Cheng noted.
NWD also handed out e-vouchers to attract shoppers as the city’s government further eased social-distancing rules from September 11, a welcome news especially for tenants involved in retailing and food and beverage sectors.
Retail sales in Hong Kong plunged 13.1 per cent to HK$25.6 billion in August from a year earlier, marking a 19th consecutive month of contraction, a government report showed on Wednesday. Consumer spending has dropped 30 per cent this year versus the same period in 2019.
NWD plans to offer the first phase of 783 units in The Pavilia Farm residential project atop the Tai Wai train station in Sha Tin to the market from next month. There will be 3,090 units in total to be developed in several phases.
NWD reported a 94 per cent drop in net income to HK$1.09 billion in the year ended June 30, largely attributed to an 84 per cent slide in revaluation gains on investment properties. Excluding revaluation items, its underlying profit declined 25 per cent to HK$6.59 billion.
It has proposed a final dividend of HK$1.48 per share, unchanged from 2019.
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This article New World Development reaps rewards from online sales experiments to counter Covid-19 crisis first appeared on South China Morning Post