Hutchison Port reports 14.3% drop in Q2 net profit

Softer trade within Asia and lower volumes weighed on Hutchison Port Holdings Trust’s (HPHT) second-quarter earnings.

The Hong Kong-based container port business trust this week posted a net profit of HK$342.7 million (S$60 million) for the three months to June 30, down 14.3 per cent from HK$399.9 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue slipped 6.1 per cent to HK$2.94 billion as container throughput for its assets at Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) sank 10.4 per cent on the back of “weaker intra-Asia and transshipment cargoes”, said the trust’s manager.

In addition, container throughput of its assets in Yantian International Container Terminals in China shrank 1 per cent due to weaker transshipment cargoes, though partially offset by the growth in the European Union and empty cargoes.

The manager said that the average revenue per standard-sized container for Hong Kong was above that of last year’s, mainly due to tariff increment.

For China, the average revenue per standard-sized container was about the same as last year owing to tariff increment, though partially offset by the depreciation in the Chinese yuan.

Net profit for the half year jumped 30.9 per cent to HK$897.6 million – boosted largely by a HK$430 million government rents and rates refund for HIT during the first quarter – although revenue slipped 6.4 per cent to HK$5.69 billion.

Earnings per unit for the quarter fell to 3.93 HK cents from 4.59 HK cents, while net asset value per unit stood at HK$4.80 as at June 30, down from the HK$4.89 as at Dec 31 last year.

The manager declared an interim distribution per unit of 14 Hong Kong cents, down from the 15.7 Hong Kong cents last year.

“(The) management remains cautious on the volume outlook for the remainder of the year, given the soft global trade outlook and the expected negative consequences of Britain’s exit from the European Union, and will continue to focus on improvements to tariffs and costs.”

HPHT units closed one cent or 1.55 per cent higher at 65.5 cents yesterday, before the results were announced.

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