Billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s Flagship Posts 41% Jump In First-Half Profit As Earnings Recover From Pandemic

CK Hutchison Holdings – the flagship conglomerate of Hong Kong’s richest man Li Kashing – saw a 41% increase in net profit in the first six months of the year, as its ports and retail businesses improved after the pandemic restrictions lifted in crucial markets.
This is a difference of HK$13 billion a year earlier. In the same period, revenue rose 12% to HK$212.4billion.

The conglomerate, which has interests across ports and retail, real estate, telecoms, and utilities, continues to recover amid gradual relaxation of movement restrictions, especially in key European markets.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the group should have the ability to continue its growth trajectory and expects a solid performance in the full year,” Victor Li, Chairman of CK Hutchison–the eldest brother of group founder Li-–said in a statement.

The best performers in the group’s retail and ports businesses were the retailers. The port’s total revenue increased by 24% in half-time compared with the previous year. Sales from the retail segment grew by 12%.

According to the younger Li, CK Hutchison’s finances have been managed prudently since the beginning of the pandemic. After receiving a substantial portion of the proceeds from its divestment in Europe of its telecom towers, the net ratio of net debt to company capital fell to 19.9% by June this year from 25.6% last year.

The group claimed that it had sold five out of six European telecom tower divestments to Cellnex Telecom. It received overall proceeds of 6.3 billion Euros ($7.4 Billion), of which 4.1 Billion euros was booked in 2020’s first half. The U.K.’s sale of telecom towers is still in progress, as regulatory approvals are required.

CK Hutchison is expected to record a HK$25.3 Billion exceptional gain on the tower transaction. This will be partially offset by a HK$15.5B non-cash impairment in goodwill related to the group’s Italian telecom company.

CK Asset Holdings reported a 31% increase of net profit to HK$8.4billion in the first quarter, reflecting the buoyant Hong Kong housing market. The property developer also pursued diversification by acquiring utility assets in Europe.

The business, which was then known as Cheung Kong plastics, was started by Li, the older Li, who is now 93. Superman was nicknamed after the man he called. He retired in May 2018 as the chairman of CK Hutchison & CK Asset. Li, who had a net worth of $35.4 billion at the time of the February list of Hong Kong’s 50 richest, joked that he’d been “working too long.”

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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