UPDATE 1-Hutchison H1 profit beats forecast; confident about outlook
* H1 net underlying profit rises 13 pct to $1.7 billion
* Including exceptionals, H1 profit surges 129 pct
* Retail revenue up 9 pct; property revenue falls 33 pct
By Donny Kwok
HONG KONG, July 31 (Reuters) - Hutchison Whampoa Ltd , a retail-to-telecoms group owned by Asia's richest man Li Ka-shing, posted a 13 percent rise in first-half underlying profit, beating analyst estimates, thanks to its growing European telecom and retail businesses.
Excluding exceptional items and property valuations, underlying profit totalled HK$13.52 billion ($1.74 billion) in January-June compared with HK$12.01 billion a year earlier, Hutchison said on Thursday.
That beat expectations for an underlying profit of HK$13 billion, according to the average forecast of five analysts polled by Reuters.
Including profits from the disposal of investments and property revaluation, profit attributable to shareholders jumped 129 percent year-on-year to HK$28.44 billion, from HK$12.398 billion a year earlier.
"Generally improving trends first noted in the second half of 2013 continued into 2014, leading to a constructive outlook for the group's businesses overall for the second half of 2014," Chairman Li, whose empire spans commercial properties in Hong Kong and China to telecommunications in Europe and energy in Canada, said in a statement. Continued...