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Hutchison Whampoa 1H net profit drops 63 percent

Hutchison Whampoa 1H net profit drops 63 percent

Tycoon Li Ka-shing's conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. reported a 63 percent drop in first-half earnings Thursday, but still beat expectations thanks to shrinking telecom losses and better income from its energy and port businesses.
Net income for the six months ended June 30 was 10.69 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$1.37 billion) compared with HK$28.76 billion in the same period last year, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Revenue climbed 24 percent to HK$176.2 billion (US$22.6 billion).
Many analysts had expected the company _ a sprawling conglomerate with retail, property, energy, infrastructure and telecom operations in 57 countries _ to post half-year earnings below HK$10 billion.
Li, Hutchison's chairman, argued the company could fare well even in tough economic times because of its geographic and business diversity.
"If this country isn't doing well, another is doing better. So we're very lucky we can do quite well," said Li, whose US$26.5 billion fortune makes him the world's 11th richest person, according to Forbes.
The half-year slide was largely due to the absence of a major asset sale. In the same period last year, the company booked a disposable gain of HK$35.82 billion (US$4.6 billion) after its telecom unit, Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd., sold off Indian mobile phone assets.
The company, though, was helped by improving performance at its third-generation mobile business, known as the 3 Group. The business trimmed its operating losses by 72 percent to HK$3.18 billion, on 14 percent higher revenues, leading the company to predict 3G would be profitable next year.
Meanwhile, contributions from its Canada-listed affiliate Husky Energy Inc. rose as the energy firm benefited from higher oil prices and a joint-venture deal with BP PLC. Operating income from its port and related businesses was up 19 percent at HK$6.85 billion.
Also Thursday, Li's flagship Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. posted a 35 percent slide in first-half net profit, hurt partly by lower contributions from affiliate Hutchison. The company's earnings fell to HK$12.02 billion (US$1.54 billion) from HK$18.54 billion, beating most expectations.
Shares of Hutchison, off more than 19 percent for the year, fell 1.3 percent to HK$70.55 on Thursday. Cheung Kong's stock, off nearly 28 percent this year, slid 2.79 percent to HK$101.1.


Updated : 2021-03-08 09:57 GMT+08:00